“Life is a process of waiting, and the people we wait for never come.” On the evening of September 16, Waiting for Godot, a famous absurd play produced by Chongqing Performing Arts Co. Ltd premiered at the Times Arts Center to enthusiastic applause. It summoned to the audience “a lonely soul that waits for hope.”
Waiting for Godot is a two-act tragicomedy created by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett in the form of a dialogue about the value and meaning of existence.
Two tramps wait for Godot in the play, but Godot does not come. They can’t explain why they are waiting, a metaphor that life is an endless and hopeless course of waiting.
The figures have no distinct personalities or backgrounds, and we don’t know where they come from and where they are going. The story does not have a coherent line or a definite ending. There is no beginning, development, climax, or ending like in traditional plays. The absurd language, seemingly boring, repetitive plots, and irrelevant dialogues vividly and naturally indicate the contradictions, sadness, and despair inside the figures, leaving the audience in infinite reverie.
Waiting for Godot is one of the most frequently staged works of drama since it was shown for the first time in 1953. It is acclaimed as “a true innovation in the drama” and was voted the “most significant English-language play of the 20th century” in a British Royal National Theater poll. Samuel Beckett was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for his writing, which – in new forms for the novel and drama – in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation.”
This edition, produced by Chongqing Performing Arts Co. Ltd and directed by young director Ding Yi, was presented as a “fairy tale for adults.” It created a spiritual medium between drama and life. The director tried to show the “story without plots” to the audience based on the script and thus encouraged the audience to ponder over hope, faith, and waiting.
The play, unique in stage design and costume design, highlighted the contrast between reality and hope under the profound motif of “waiting.”
“What are we ‘waiting’ for in life? What would we do if we saw Godot? The play is so thought-provoking,” said a member of the audience after the premiere.