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'Waiting for Godot' absurd, dark, provocative

THE famed absurdist play "Waiting for Godot" will be performed by the East West Theater this week.

Following the success of its season opener "Life X 3," the international group has been involved in long rehearsals to prepare to stage Samuel Beckett's 1953 masterpiece, one of the most important English-language plays of the 20th century.

Directed by Canadian Jonathan Geenen, it opened last night and runs through Saturday at the Shanghai Theater Academy's New Space theater.

In the two-act play, dubbed an absurdist tragicomedy, two men wait for two days for a man named Godot, who never arrives. The situation is absurd, their actions and dialogue are absurd, sometimes very funny. The vision, though, is one of an absurd and meaningless human condition.

"'Waiting for Godot' is quite simply one of the most remarkable plays of the past half-century," says East West Theater's producer Rosita Janbakhsh.

"Even though it's studied in almost every world literature and theater history class, it's rarely given a professional production outside of the West End and Broadway."

This is the ninth production by East West Theater since it was formed in 2006. The group is the first, locally based English-language theater ensemble in Shanghai.

Its aim is to provide a platform for Western-style theater and to share it with the Shanghai arts and culture community. The play will have Chinese language subtitles.

In the play, two men divert themselves while they wait expectantly and unsuccessfully for someone named Godot to arrive. They claim him as an acquaintance but in fact hardly know him, admitting that they would not recognize him were they to see him. To occupy themselves, they eat, sleep, converse, argue, sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, and contemplate suicide - anything "to hold the terrible silence at bay."

Date: through April 25, 8pm; April 26, 5pm

Address: 630 Huashan Rd

Tickets: 200 yuan (through April 25), 150 yuan (April 26)

Tel: 1356-4102-955


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