Waiting for Godot

A play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), wait for the arrival of someone named Godot who never arrives, and while waiting they engage in a variety of discussions and encounter three other characters.

Show length: 100 min

Translated to Arabic and Hebrew: Anton Shamas
Directed by Ilan Ronen
Director Assistant: Ilil Semel
Lighting: Chilik Orgal
Participants: Doron Tavori, Menashe Noy, Morad Hassan, Ghassan Ashkar, and the child Yakoob Ashkar
Produced by Jaffa Theater

“…Ilan Ronen directed this bi-lingual performance (Hebrew and Arabic) with a cast fitting Israeli reality, including Anton Shamas’s translation: Vladimir and Estragon who are waiting day in day out for Godot, are two Palestinians working at a building construction site. Beckett’s tree was replaced by a very original design of Charlie Leon- featuring an unfinished building, from its middle a simple concrete column, a” tree” of iron grows, whose blooming on the second act is wonderfully stylized.

The actors, Morad Chassan as Vladimir (Didi) and Rassan Ashkar as Estragon (Gogo) create a unique relationship, moving between threads of emotions and sensitivity, anger and wondering, care, worry and even love. It is amusing and painful, well expressed and artistically justified.

Pozz who is usually portrayed as a figure from a circus is played by Menashe Noy who creates a rude, almost on the verge of a violent constructor, slashing out against the two workers and in the first act against Lucky. But Noy’s acting reaches its highpoint in the second act where he is already blind and passes Didi and Gogo, with Lucky whose tongue is severed.

‘ And of course the show-stealer, expert, Doron Tavory, who added to his good old Lucky 35 years of priceless stage experience. He is wonderful in the first act in his total submission, amazing in this gibberish monologue he gives, and heartbreaking as a mute person in the second act. At that moment the most significant and actual moment of the play happens when the director makes all four fall into each others arms, forever connected, inseparable.

Whoever does not know what “Waiting for Godot” is, should go and come to Jaffa, and will get a brilliant and genius play in a wonderful production in which Jaffa places an artistic mirror, a straight forward artistic punch into the contemporary audiences’ belly…”
Zvi Goren “Habama”

Director Ilan Ronen and four excellent actors make a gesture of honor to Samuel Beckett’s text and together create a strong and compact play about the unbearable sadness of Human existence with a link, or connection to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
Don’t wait. Go to see Waiting for Godot.

It is only seldom that I can say about a theatre performance that it is a masterpiece. “Waiting for Godot” at the Jaffa theatre is a masterpiece!Beckett’s heroes live in a world devoid of meaning and without hope, waiting for Godot to save them from loneliness, from the hunger and despair. But Godot is not coming and despair does not become more comfortable. Beckett wrote the play after World War II in order to express the existential anxiety in a overwhelming and threatening world in which people lost all and the future seems frightening and vague .it is astounding how relevant this play of absurdity is these days as well.

The Director Ilan Ronen gave the performance an actual point of view and connected it to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to tell us what we already know that nothing has changed, the situation is more difficult and complicated, time is not working for us and the two quarrelsome and desperate rivals are still waiting for redemption.Ronen is not blunt about it but the hints are enough for an intelligent audience to get it.

A handful of compliments to the actors Murad Hassan, Gassan Ashkar, Menashe Noy and especially to the wonderful Doron Tavory who embodies a rare figure you hardly ever see in the theatre. They all work in harmony and their encounters create tragic- comic scenes which move between reality and imagination and turn “Waiting for Godot” into one of the best performances of Hight quality I saw this year in the theatre.

“Waiting for Godot” at the Jaffa Theatre faces the challenge successfully. It is a minimalist and modest production which proves again that good theatre does not need pyro technique and gimmicks, but a wise play, a creative director and talented actors.
Don’t wait. Go and see “Waiting for Godot”

Yirmy Amir “MEGAFON”

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