on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage
By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Ciarán O’Reilly
Starring Bill Irwin, John Douglas Thompson, Joe Grifasi, and Patrice Johnson Chevannes
The final four performances of ENDGAME were streamed live through our partners The League of Live Stream Theater, lolst.org.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
CRITIC’S PICK sly, vivid and pulsingly alive – Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times
expert production, which is supremely funny… directed with a firm hand by Ciarán O’Reilly, ranks as the best I’ve seen, in no small part due to the masterly casting in the leading roles – Charles Isherwood, The Wall Street Journal
Thompson…one of the most talented Shakespearean actors of our time…shakes the theater like Lear roaring at an unseen storm. – Theatermania
Thompson and Irwin play off each other like an existential vaudeville duo, wringing moments of superb physical comedy… keeps us rapt until the very end. – The New Yorker
Endgame, Nobel Prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett’s (1906-1989) favorite play, is a tragicomedy of epic proportions. Written in a macabre intensity of mood, it represents the playwright’s fierce declaration of oblivion in a world populated with its last survivors. The play, about the end of everything, moves inexorably to its own conclusion, with its own humor bursting out of the bounds of Beckett’s dark account of the Earth’s last whimper.
Endgame tells the story of Hamm (John Douglas Thompson), who is reduced to living in one room, in which he sits blind and chair-bound. His only escape from his solitary world is the company of his aging, legless parents (Joe Grifasi and Patrice Johnson Chevannes), who live in garbage bins, and his shuffling servant, Clov (Bill Irwin), who is at his beck and call, and who, like a dog, comes when whistled for. The only thing left for Hamm is to wait for the inevitable end.
A pinnacle of Beckett’s characteristic raw minimalism, Endgame is a pure and devastating distillation of the human essence in the face of approaching death. “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness” invokes Nell, which summarizes the tragicomic nature of this timeless play.
The play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1957 in French as Fin de Partie. The first English language production took place at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York in 1958. Irish Rep first presented an acclaimed production of Endgame, directed by Charlotte Moore, in 2005.
Endgame is an Official Selection of the Origin 1st Irish 2023 Theatre Festival. For Festival Info, visit origintheatre.org.
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