Tying in with our favoured analogy for the never-ending political-processing.. [actually ahead of Peter Hall’s 50th Anniversary production of the play – Ed] actor Simon Callow has a great article, in The Guardian, tracing the influence of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot from its opening night in January 1953 at the nearly defunct Théâtre de Babylone in Montparnasse. “Charming evening we’re having.” “Unforgettable.” “And it’s not over.” “Apparently not.” “It’s only beginning.” “It’s awful.”As Simon Callow says –
Now that its influence has begun to wane, and it ceases to remind us of its imitations, we can again see the most influential play of the second half of the 20th century for what it is. Waiting for Godot has lost none of its power to astonish and to move, but it no longer seems self-consciously experimental or obscure. With unerring economy and surgical precision, the play puts the human animal on stage in all his naked loneliness. Like the absolute masterpiece it is, it seems to speak directly to us, to our lives, to our situation, while at the same time appearing to belong to a distant, perhaps a non-existent, past.