Full Throttle Theatre Company will showcase the absurdity of the world when they bring Waiting for Godot to the Old Courthouse Theatre this August.
The French play was translated in 1955 and quickly became the most significant English language play of the 20th century, with each act featuring the same two tramps waiting near a dying tree for the mysterious Godot.
Director, Laurie Page, said the production would emphasise the monotony of daily life.
You’ve been involved in the Townsville theatre scene for some time – but will Godot be your first stint in the Director’s chair?
I love the term “director’s chair” – like Stephen Spielberg or Clint Eastwood. In Townsville, we don’t have a fancy chair, we just have that “rusty chair” at the back. But my God, isn’t it stable? And large! An XL, probably. Anyway, about the question. After doing some small directing at University, last year I took the plunge and directed my first play The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco. Like the play I’m directing now, it was Theatre of the Absurd and that one in particular was a huge challenge for me and my lead actor, Michael Sams, as the play had pages and pages of monologues that made absolutely no sense. Michael is now playing Vladimir in Godot and at the very least, there are less monologues! Beach was a wonderful experience, so was The Lesson, and right now, Godot is shaping up to be one of those opportunities I’ll remember fondly – yes, I just used the word “fondly” – I feel 92. But, I am privileged I am a part of anything to do with this show, yet alone, direct. My actors and assistant director also make it so worthwhile.
For those that may not have heard of the play before, what is Waiting for Godot about?
Godot is about two men who are on a road trying to find out what their life means, whilst waiting for a man named “Mr Godot”. They entertain themselves vividly in the process. Mr Godot never arrives – only a boy, to say that Mr Godot will be here “tomorrow”, but Mr Godot never comes. Vladimir and Estragon consider ways out of their life, but persist in waiting for this mysterious man. Their lives are centred around a single belief. Many people believe Godot is a statement about religion but it is much more than that. It is a play about the human condition and how doing the same thing every day provides you with less meaning. Even though their circumstances are ridiculous, these characters are reflected through society every day. It is the philosophy many people have in a many situations – “same shit, different day”.
If people haven’t seen a Full Throttle production before, what should they expect?
They should expect to be absorbed into a world that is totally different from the one that they live. There is also a rich history in the walls of the Courthouse Theatre guiding new directors to trial new interpretations of works, and I think it’s fantastic. I don’t mind a good musical but I think it’s important we have theatre companies in Townsville taking on plays and I’m very grateful to Full Throttle and Theatre iNQ for taking those risks. Particularly as a Drama teacher and performer – I want to see as much as I possibly can to learn, without always having to spend all of my money to travel and see productions. I don’t want to see the same style of predictable narrative all of the time – we have Netflix for that! Full Throttle provides a voice to artists within the community whether it be theatre, music or visual art and I’m really proud that Townsville still has this community focus.
Why Godot? Why do you think Townsville shouldn’t miss this?
Because it is a masterpiece and hasn’t been done in Townsville for 20 years. Because I wish somebody did it when I was at school or at University. Because it is the very play that the late Karen Vane made me read in Grade 11 Drama that influenced my decision to be a Drama teacher and performer. It’s a play that doesn’t focus on story, but ideas, and I love it for its uniqueness. You will watch these men deteriorate over the course of the show, as well as try and find many entertaining ways of stopping themselves getting bored. It’ll hopefully make you laugh and cry. I like to be affected as an audience member – I hope audience members will feel that with this show.
Experience Full Throttle Theatre Company’s Waiting For Godot at the Old Courthouse Theatre on 2-6 and 9-12 August. Tickets are available from fullthrottletheatre.com