Kid's Perspective-Waiting for Godot

On Tuesday we met with students to give a quick workshop on critical writing and arts reviewing in Hong Kong. They were awesome and are super smart. I've always said that kids are the best critics you'll ever get as an artist. They have no problem telling you that you sucked. The students went to go see ABA Productions' version of Waiting for Godot. They wrote their own critiques of the show and we've decided to publish excerpts of each. Some students have chosen to write under a pen name to protect their identities. (Because we all know actors are vicious beasts...) If you wish to see Tom Hope's critique of Godot you can read it here.

Riylow, 16
"Let me make something abundantly clear- if any parent, no matter their gender, age or race, takes their six year old to 'Waiting For Godot', then they need to rethink their parenting skills drastically. I could not see anyone below fourteen in the audience- and for good reason too. AC's version of the play is not appropriate for small kids in the least. I thought that perhaps they would have made some fine tweaks to the script, and I'd see a heavily, clowned up version, but that wasn't the case. Some of the age appropriate words your kids will be sure to know are 'erection', 'cock', and an apparently improvised near use of the word 'fuck'. Oh, Estragon didn't say it obviously, but by the drawn out 'FFFF' sound, and the laugh of the audience, it was as clear as the synthetic moon. So, unless you're prepared to have a particularly long conversation with your six year old on the wonders of the world, leave them with the babysitter."

Jess, 14
"Act One was rather difficult to understand, so it didn’t quite draw my interest, but I loved the quirkiness of everything. Tiny actions or comments that would seem really insignificant made the entire assembly laugh, and I thought that was probably the most successful part of this production."

TYL, 14
"In casting the roles, Peter Reid indeed chose the right people for the roles because of their great portrayal of their corresponding characters; a testimonial to the audience's amused reactions to their executions of such roles."

Alyssa, 13
"I liked the acting and the set, but I have to disagree with everyone when they say it’s a good play. I really disliked some of the jokes, since they were just boring. I didn’t laugh as much when everyone else did at the jokes or the gags; I just didn’t find them very humorous, though everyone else did. Also, although everything was fairly well put out, I just didn’t find anything particularly interesting. May it be the acting, or just the plot itself, it really didn’t seem to grab my attention at all...I found myself having to keep changing positions very often just to stay awake."

Celine Raine, 14
"Overall, I recommend this play for adults. It is unsuitable for children because of the use of inappropriate language and jokes. It might bore young adults, as the jokes are quite old-fashioned. "

Cid, 14
"By all means, it should be boring. But it isn’t. I don’t fully understand it myself – by all means I should be in a raging fury and writing some not very nice things about the producers’ mother. I don’t usually have a lot of patience, especially for faffing about. But this time, I found myself unusually entertained and inordinately irritated by the tall man blocking my view."

The Pirate Captain, 16
"Act 1 was boring as hell. I couldn’t concentrate, the slapstick was all over the place and I couldn’t bring myself to laugh. Act 2 was better. The slapstick was still all over the place and I still couldn’t bring myself to laugh but the actors were much more engaging."

EXE, 14
"Due to the cryptic nature of this play, the audience’s interpretation of the play might be blurry (especially for the younger members in the audience), but then, honestly, who cares? The play was loaded with jokes and laughs, with contrasts ranging from physical idiocy to more subtle play-on-words which required more thinking and piecing together of lines, and, to be absolutely truthful, the actors delivered those funny bits quite smoothly."


If you would like HKELD to come to your school to talk about critical writing please contact us! Having an opinion about things like art and theatre is something we feel all young people should be encouraged to share.


  • Mango
    19 October 2012

    I think the article is very enjoyable to read. They make their points very clear. Completely agree that kid's are the best critics you'll ever get. They're brutally honest.
  • Julie
    19 October 2012

    I loved Alyssa! Godot is one of the most over appreciated plays ever. I hate it. So boring.
  • the mighty wah
    20 October 2012

    Great reviews. Nice to see a range of opinions from class mates.
  • YSL
    20 October 2012

    I like seeing snippets of the reviews. It would be interesting to see all the critics go to same show and do the same experiment.
  • Edward
    20 October 2012

    These kids nailed it. This show was not appropriate for kids. I left at intermission with my son.
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