Two hapless understudies on a production of Waiting for Godot occupy their time backstage, trying to understand art, life, theatre and their precarious existence within it. Dave Hanson‘s hit New York comedy Waiting for Waiting for Godot receives its European premiere at London’s St James Theatre and, just before he flew back to New York, I got to quiz Dave about his inspiration for this debut play (bitter personal experience on a Los Angeles production of the Beckett classic: “Terrible. Boring. Underpaid.”).
At last night’s post-show Q&A, we were also joined by director Mark Bell (whose other hit comedy productions include the Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy about a Bank Robbery) and the three-strong cast: The Fast Show‘s Simon Day (who plays Ester), and The Play That Goes Wrong alumni James Marlowe (Val) and Laura Kirman (who plays ASM Laura).
“What kind of people hang around waiting for a promise that doesn’t come?” – from Waiting for Waiting for Godot
Other topics covered: how New York City moulds artists (and Seattle not so much?), which of the cast have served time as an understudy, how much the agony of waiting is a part of an actor’s life, theatre superstitions, the Meissner technique, collaborating on anglicisms, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and other influences, whether experience as an actor is helpful to writers and directors, classic British sitcoms like The Young Ones and Red Dwarf and Dave’s follow-up comedy about ghosts in a flatshare (sort of).
Waiting for Waiting for Godot runs at the St James Studio until 24 September 2016.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) September 5, 2016
Event photography by Peter Jones.