With the past few months being an absolute blur, I haven’t had the time to catch a play. So when I heard that the Motley group was staging Samuel Beckitt’s “Waiting for Godot”, I decided that I wouldn’t miss the chance to watch this play. The play was to be staged as part of the Motley Group’s festival, and would play at Prithvi, NCPA and B. N. Vaidya Hall over two months. Since I missed the show at Prithvi due to the show being sold out, I decided that I would definitely catch the show at NCPA. So, my good pal Arun and me booked the tickets about two weeks in advance.

Finally after much waiting, the day of the play finally dawned. The afternoon was filled with sounds of thundering and the sky lit up with celestial fireworks, threatening to rain out the evening. However, good weather held and we were able to reach NCPA without a single drop of rain falling in our way. After waiting, we were finally let into the Experimental Auditorium at NCPA. NCPA experimental has no fixed seating and its generally first come first serve. So being early we were able to get a seat in the third row from the front.  And then finally the curtain rose on the play.

The play is a tragicomedy about two tramps who are waiting at an unnamed location for someone called Godot. Godot, the mysterious titular character of the play, never comes on stage and is simply alluded to during the course of the play. Nothing much happens during the entire play (twice) and the play can be thought of as an exercise in absurdity (in a good way). It does however have some funny moments as well as some bordering on deep pathos with a lot of dark humor thrown in as well. The play is widely regarded as the most significant play written in the 20th century.

The play, I suspect probably has several interpretations and is not what meets the eye. Several allusions to religion and religious iconography are made during the course of the play, including one where Godot is referred to as a white bearded person, kind of like the traditional image of a benevolent white-bearded God.

The acting is absolutely first rate. Both Benjamin Gilani and Naseeruddin Shah are superb on stage, as are the other members of the cast. The play also stars Akash Khurana, Randeep Hooda and Yannick Shetty Menon.

I had a great time watching the play in the company of some old friends and I’d definitely recommend it. That being said I don’t think the play would appeal to everyone. Do see it though, if you don’t mind a bit of tragedy with your laughs.  I think NCPA’s blurb for the play which has this quote by Harold Hobson very aptly describes the play,

Go and see Waiting for Godot. At the worst you will discover a curiosity, a four-leaved clover, a black tulip; at the best, something that will securely lodge in a corner of your mind for as long as you live.

Waiting for Godot can be caught at B. N. Vaidya Hall,  Dadar on 19th September at 8:00 pm.

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