This production of Endgame disappointed me weeks before I even went to see it - as I'd only booked because it was meant to be Richard Briers' final stage appearance, but he then pulled out of the production. I might not otherwise have booked (as I've mentioned before, I sometimes find Beckett's plays more interesting to read than to watch.) Still, I had my ticket so went along to Complicite's production, which in fairness is pretty good. Mark Rylance replaces Briers as Hamm, blind, disabled and reliant on his servant Clov (Simon McBurney, who also directs) who is almost blind and disabled himself. Hamm's parents (Miriam Margolyes and Tom Hickey) live in dustbins and are occasionally allowed to pop their heads out and be given a biscuit. I have to say the play includes some wonderfully lyrical lines which come across very well from the cast, and I particularly liked how Paul Anderson's lighting design stayed murky and shadowy throughout. The production gives a particularly strong sense of this being a post-apocalyptic world, and the black comedy is very well delivered, both in words and actions.
Endgame by Samuel Beckett is booking until the 5th of December at the Duchess Theatre.