WAITING FOR GODOT
London Classic Theatre at the Civic Theatre Chelmsford
These days it's not easy taking real theatre on tour. So hats off to LCT for going with Godot, on a pilgrimage from Severn to Solent by way of Kendal and Kilkenny. Lovely to see this enigmatic classic on the Civic stage, and with a good audience, too. Can't compare with stand-up or tribute acts, of course, but even so …
It's a fine production, with plenty for the expert and for the Beckett beginner.
Bek Palmer's set is somewhat perverse, but powerfully so, with the barren landscape replaced by a hall of tarnished mirrors, tree chandeliers suspended with their roots in air and driftwood stepping-stones, representing the road and the isolation of the travellers going nowhere as they wait for Godot to come.
A nicely complementary double act from Peter Cadden as the refined Didi and Richard Heap as the lugubrious ex-poet Gogo. Excellent cross talk routines, and a real rapport between these two unlikely friends.
Jonathan Ashley is the showman Pozzo, and his Lucky is the excellent Michael Keane, one of the best I've seen – credibly eleven years old, but achingly world-weary, a melancholy mime; his thinking monoogue beautifully judged.
The boy, a mirror image in each act, is Sonja Zobel, skipping across the stones in a moment of levity before the light dims.
Waiting for Godot is directed for London Classic Theatre by Michael Cabot.
Production photograph: Sheila Burnett