• By Samuel Beckett
  • Directed by Ivan Panteleev
  • Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen / Deutsches Theater, Berlin

A spotlight flits across a light-coloured width of material on Mark Lammert’s set, which contracts as if to form the hub of the world, disappearing into the gorge of a funnel in which two men stand. Vladimir and Estragon (Samuel Finzi, Wolfram Koch) stare out of the crater’s hole as if they had just landed on a strange planet. In this restricted area and free zone of pure acting, limited by black curtains, only the imagination is real. Two have-nots who possess neither shoe nor hat, neither radish nor turnip. No props to hold on to. Pozzo and Lucky (Christian Grashof, Andreas Döhler) also climb out of this primal hole, equally bereft of all utensils: no rope, no whip, no suitcase, nothing at all. In Ivan Panteleev’s “Waiting for Godot“, there is a second hand-writing underneath the openly legible one, as in a palimpsest: the signature of Dimiter Gotscheff, to whom this production was dedicated. For Panteleev and his actors, it’s all entertainment and running gag, chasing across the funnel’s sloping walls. Finzi and Koch are masters of self-re-enactment, both visionaries of the present and bearers of hidden history, virtuosos of stage business, experts of the eternal now and sealers of time.

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