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Endgame

By Samuel Beckett

HOME and Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

HOME, 26 February 2016

David Neilson (Hamm) and Chris Gascoyne (Clov) in Endgame by Samuel Beckett. Set and costume design by Tom Piper. Photo by Tim Morozzo

David Neilson (Hamm) and Chris Gascoyne (Clov) in Endgame by Samuel Beckett. Set and costume design by Tom Piper. Photo by Tim Morozzo

This is a very satisfying production of one of Beckett’s key plays.

What is remarkable is how much drama, humour and vitality there is to it, despite the fact that all but one of the characters are stationary. You imagine it as being in a rundown farm in rural Ireland, Hamm (David Neilson) and his man-servant Clov (Chris Gascoyne) parading through the ruins of yet another routine day. His parents, Nagg (Peter Kelly) and Nell (Barbara Rafferty), are ensconced inside a couple of dustbins. (Why not?)

It is a play about the last of days, with just a hint of ecological collapse/atomic fallout – not unlike A Regicide, now I come to think on it. No overt mention of ‘the planetary turn’, though that can be supplied…

The set is deserving of more than a passing mention. It has an age-splattered beauty, a rusty-coloured griminess, which serves the play admirably. I was surprised to learn, though really I shouldn’t have been, that it had been designed by Tom Piper. Best known for his work on the poppy installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, Piper also designed the Blood: Uniting & Dividing exhibition I saw at the Jewish Museum London in December. A man who is much in demand.

Everything about this production bespeaks quality. Endgame is playing at HOME until 12 March, details here.

 

 

 

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