Premiere: October 14, 2001; at the premises of Bajeshibpur B.K. Paul's Institution (Howrah, West Bengal, India).
Prepared by Theatre Formation Paribartak being inspired by the play written by Samuel Beckett. TFP's script is in Bengali. The duration of the theatre is 45 minutes.
This theatre is best in Proscenium. It has been found effective in Intimate Space and as Street Theatre as well.
Waiting For Godot was the first theatre launched by Theatre Formation Paribartak. It fetched an award in 2003. In an All-Bengal One-Act Bengali Drama Competition, it clinched the award of the 2nd Best Production. It was the first award ever won by Theatre Formation Paribartak. To see a complete list of awards, click here.
THE ORIGINAL WAITING FOR GODOT
The original play was written in French in 1948 by the Irish Nobel-Laureate author Samuel Beckett. Later, he translated the play in English. It was premiered in Left Bank Theatre de Babylon, Paris; On January 4, 1953; by a group of university students.
The original play has not been translated, rather the structure of the play has been taken. The sequences, dialogues and characters have been newly created to make them fit in the curves of acceptance of the spectators in the main field of its performance.
The performance of this play comes not to be of the one written by Beckett. But, what is performed cannot be called other than "Waiting For Godot".
This performance/script is a different and simplified version of the original "Waiting For Godot" written by Samuel Beckett.
Theatre Formation Paribartak has made two additional special versions of this play - a 'Clarified Version' and a 'Degendered Version'. In the Clarified Version, the limitations of reasoning become somewhat clear through the dialogues of the two tramps waiting for Godot. In the Degendered Version, rather than two men waiting for Godot, one man and one woman are found waiting for Godot. In this Degendered version, very importantly, they two are not at all attentive to their gender differences.
WHO/WHAT IS GODOT : A Special Note by Theatre Formation Paribartak
The query who/what is Godot in Samuel Beckett's masterpiece "Waiting For Godot" is still unresolved. Many explanations of Godot are available in literature. Godot can be The God or hope or revolution or the favorable set of changes or even a military boot. In this short note, Theatre Formation Paribartak points to what it has designed as Godot. It has been prepared around last week of September 2001. It has not been written by one person. Before the first TFP show, the team-members revealed their feelings about Godot and this note has been prepared as a summary of their feelings. The Director then decided to make it a standard to follow while keeping the flow of fresh feelings uninterrupted. This note is neither essential for enjoying the theatre nor it is trying to explain what TFP does in the performance in name of Godot. This summary of feelings has been followed by the production-team to capture the sense of the Godot for presentation of the theatre in practice. Still now, the production is running following this understanding.
In Beckett's "Waiting For Godot", the Godot does not come. But, Vladimir and Estragon, the two tramps, wait for Godot throughout the play and at the end they continue waiting. In Beckett's original version, the Mr. Godot is supposed to have beards. But, what Theatre Formation Paribartak presents is more absurd. The persons do not know where and when to wait for Godot. They don't know the reason to wait for Godot. They even cannot remember how Godot looks. And the two tramps are confused about the gender of Godot. Yet, both of them seem to have seen Godot and asked by Godot to wait. The meaning or sense of Godot under this absurdity indicates towards nothingness. Beckett, in the last days, believed that every word was an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness. Godot, in this play, indicates towards that nothingness. When the word "nothingness" is used, it is not to relish here the concept of nihilism. It is to show the uselessness and erosions of the concepts and materials around us. In the original theatre, there are only five characters. Except the above two tramps, there is a boy, who conveys the message from Godot whether Godot will come today or not and whether the tramps are to wait tomorrow again or not. The boy very significantly again and again cannot remember to have seen the two tramps. The other two characters are interrelated. One is Pozzo - a rich person who has a slave. The slave is the other one - Lucky. Pozzo fastens a rope around the neck of Lucky like a dog and Lucky carries the bag of Pozzo. Now, in this existentialist play written by Beckett, this particular deviation from reality in presenting relation is very important to understand the sense of Godot. These events of Pozzo using Lucky and Lucky agrees with are signifier of destruction of values. The only deviation in presentation of realistic characters is this one. When this special attempt has been made to show the destruction of values, the tramps are found detached and insignificant in this process of destruction.
In the production by Theatre Formation Paribartak, there are waves of destruction of values in the unknown town. The two tramps or beggars sit in the park to wait for Godot. The detachment of the two tramps from the mainstream of life and actions in the town signifies that there is a scope to negate what is going on. The two tramps in the Beckett's version are detached in the same way and it does not seem from the play that the tramps have any positive attitude towards the mainstream lifestyle. So, there is an alternative. Now, the alternative is not Godot. In the play, Godot is not significant. The most significant thing is "Waiting" in name of Godot. The waiting has no result, no objective and no process. This measures the alternative. When the main stream of life suffers from gradual erosion, the two tramps evoke the existence of an alternative. The alternative is an empty space, where the spectators of this theatre have to build up things of their own choice or they can prefer merely to realize the existence of this empty space. The empty space that has been indicated here is not possible to visualize nor can be measured by any unit and value. The empty space is neither a matter, nor a concept nor a concern. The empty space exists, and that is all.
So, Godot is 'Nothingness' and Godot is less relevant in the theatre. The more relevant thing is the 'Waiting' for Godot. This waiting indicates towards the presence of the 'Alternative', which is emancipated as an 'Empty Space' by reasoning the waiting by name of Godot.