Kids' Perspective-Waiting for Godot-Full Text

We've had a request to show some of the full reviews that the students wrote on their recent trip to see and critique ABA's Waiting for Godot. Here are two of them:

Waiting for Godot is the play’s name. For me, I’m still waiting for the meaning of it. Premiering for the first time all the way back on January 5th, 1953, this cynically humorous piece of work was written by Samuel Beckett. Starting off as a failed play, with an unforgivingly dissing audience, it eventually rose to the top, ending up as a successful piece of work, and now played by many famous actors.

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.

The cast deserves a massive ‘well done’ as well. The on-stage co-operation of Patrick O’Donnell (as Estragon) and Marcus Lamb (as Vladimir) amazed me. The transfer of both serious and non-serious lines was very well done between both actors, as line after quick line was said, with nearly no imperfections whatsoever. The sudden arrival of Pozzo (played by Paul Kealyn) with poor Lucky (played by Nick Devlin) and the interaction of ‘Master and Slave’ was also submitted to the audience in a sort of dark, sinister yet at the same time comedic way. The contrast between pompous bellowing and the nearly cheerful talk by Pozzo was visibly awesome in his interactions with Lucky and with Estragon and Vladmir. I think that the boy (Thomas Hamp) also deserves an honorable mention; although his main lines were ‘yes/no sir’, he managed to put his emotions into it. The projection of their voices were also satisfactory but voices could be clearer when reaching areas of the script where there might be elongated wording. Nevertheless, the entire cast impressed me greatly and, to Pozzo: your voice scares the hell out of me.

Although this play, so I heard, is suitable for children of ages above 6, I am obliged to reject the idea. Sure, the play did include several physical taunts and acts (such as the act of Vladimir trying, in vain, to pull his boot off), but most of the comedic elements of the play was put in the lines. Nevertheless, there were many members of the audience whose native language did not seem to be English or were not very good at it, so don’t let me put you off the idea of bringing your children along with you. All in all, although this play is quite difficult to deliver itself, the actors gave me an impression of a ‘well done’, and although I do not really recommend bringing your little kiddies to this play (cause then it’ll be a waste of a ticket at this young an age), I do highly recommend bringing a fellow friend or two. I really do. And to AC and ABA Productions: you did a damn well job.

Overall rating – 7.9/10

Exe, aged 14.

Yesterday, I went to see the production Waiting for Godot hosted by ABA. I don’t go to theaters. In fact, yesterday was my first time ever watching a professional live performance of a play. So I have nothing to compare it to. I’ve certainly read a few plays, but never watched any. Was the acting good? I certainly think so, but keep that in mind while you read this review. ‘Waiting for Godot’ was an interesting experience to say the least. Certainly novel.

What I’m trying to say is that I have no idea what to make of what happened.

Waiting for Godot is a play entirely about two men waiting for a man called Godot. They’re not sure what he looks like, or even where they’ll meet. They just know they need to wait for him. And that’s what you’ll get for two hours. Two men passing the time. Exciting, no?

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. 

After some thinking, I came to a conclusion. It was the acting that kept me up. The expression in their voices helped when I couldn’t see their faces. Sometimes I would close my eyes, and I could still understand what was going on through their voice. The costumes were well selected and very fitting. I thought the actors were quite fitting in their roles.

The set was very minimalistic, with a backcloth, a rock, and a single tree. I think that was a great decision, as it made me focus on the characters and actors, not the superficial things.

Interestingly enough, when it first came out it wasn’t well received to say the least. I can understand why some of the audience decided to get up and leave during the original run. Sometimes I came close to it myself. Overly long gags can make you either laugh harder or wait for it to be over. I was more engaged in act two, but it still leads nowhere.

To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it to children. The production recommends this for ages 6 and above, but I think otherwise. I did notice many people aged 10 and below in the audience, and one was directly behind me. How do I know they were bored? My chair kept thudding for the entire duration of the performance. Although there are many physical gags, most of the play is two men passing the time, with occasional company.

This is great to watch if you’re in no particular hurry. I think it takes a certain mindset to fully appreciate this, instead of constantly thinking “When is he going to finally shut up?”

It’s a great way to pass the time.

Cid, aged 14

If you want to compare these budding critics to our own, Tom Hope please read his review here.