Show: Godot Is A Woman
Venue: Pleasance Dome – QueenDome (23)
Reviewer: Clare Louise Roberts
More than a remake, this is a very original and refreshing piece of theatre by Silent Faces. This funny show is clowning with Beckett themed prose. And joyful dance sequences.
As a feminist, writer and avid Samuel Beckett fan, I had a personal investment in the concept of this production. When I walked in to see a stage reminiscent of those dressed up for Beckett’s play Waiting For Godot, I was curious if my suspicions of this show being a remake of sorts were correct.
The Beckett estate is famous for two things:
- Samuel Beckett’s renowned plays.
- Their public restraints and crackdowns on how Beckett’s plays should be performed. For example, no one who isn’t male can play the parts in Waiting For Godot because the characters were written as male.
Godot Is A Woman challenges this. They use the premise of waiting to describe their predicament, a sweet nod to the play they are talking about.
Silent Faces skillfully balance the dynamics in their show. Their phone box idea is poetic and wonderful because in a self-aware bit, Silent Faces admit to each other that they are ‘waiting for ‘Waiting For Godot’’ to get back to them over whether or not they can perform their play.
Thankfully, this production does more than emulating the play where nothing happens and nobody goes anywhere. Godot Is A Woman by theatre company Silent Faces is an extremely clever and simply brilliant must-see production of this year’s Fringe
As well as delivering lines poetically inspired from the play that they have no rights to perform, this show is also an ode to Madonna and the progress of feminism, mainly within the US and Europe. I particularly enjoyed their dance to Like A Prayer (yes it is my favourite Madonna song). As they said themselves: it is a classic.
Classics are the debate in this show. They continue to emphasise their theme of how Waiting For Godot is a play about humanity and the human experience: one which every person (gender irrelevant) knows and experiences. Therefore gender and sex are irrelevant to the plot. And as times have changed, this means that the Silent Faces company on stage in front of us, made up of one non-binary human and two female humans should be able to do a play about being human and not get the production shut down because they are the wrong kind of human.
Now having firmly moved away from scene homages, they hilariously give a very informative presentation on the male prostate. A compelling monologue is told like a melo-drama to keep the comic relief in such a serious point that Beckett’s female characters are always defined by their looks and/or their relation to men. As objects.
Their play has been published and is available to buy from the company after each fringe run.
There is a false ending and the last dance doesn’t feel fully necessary in the show but is still enjoyable. Do they continue waiting for Waiting For Godot? I’m not telling you.
Their arguments and prosecutions for keeping and for removing the restrictions currently in place for performing Beckett’s play were both persuasive. But who would want a non-male production of Waiting For Godot when you can have the excellent and clever Godot Is A Woman? I know which one I’d pick.
Tickets available here – https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/godot-is-a-woman
Venue 23 – Pleasance Dome – QueenDome
Dates – Aug 11-14, 16-21, 23-28
Time – 12.50pm (1h 10m)