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Literary Talks > 2017 Autumn
Literary Club: 6 November 2017
(Doors open 6:15 - Event Starts 7:00 - 8:15)

Title: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
A Film version preceded by a short presentation of the Play and the Theater of the Absurd

Click Here to download presentation

Presenter: Akram Najjar
Language: English

Language: English (Irish Accent), therefore, with English Subtitles
Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes
Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg (USA 2001)
Stars: Barry McGovern (Vladimir), Johnny Murphy (Estragon)

Written in French in 1948, it was first performed in Paris in 1953. Limited success but angered audiences and critics. It was later translated by Beckett and performed in 1955 in London. Again, limited success. However, a risk was taken when it was performed in the San Quentin Penitentiary in the USA in front of 1400 prisoners. It succeeded in communicating with the prisoners in a manner it had failed to do with regular theater goers.
Waiting for Godot has become an iconic play in English literature, often representing the Theater of the Absurd and frequently, though not correctly, associated with Existentialism.

Click Here for a YouTube Clip: the Hat Swapping Scene
Click Here for an article by Roger Ebert
Click Here for an article in the Huffington Post
Click Here for an article on "
Existentialism in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot"
Click Here for an article on "Nothing to be Done: A Comparative Analysis of Waiting for Godot in Performances"

Samuel Beckett
(From Encyclopedia Britannica, Click Here)
Samuel Beckett was born in a suburb of Dublin. Like his fellow Irish writers George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, and William Butler Yeats, he came from a Protestant, Anglo-Irish background. At the age of 14 he went to the Portora Royal School, in what became Northern Ireland, a school that catered to the Anglo-Irish middle classes.
From 1923 to 1927, he studied Romance languages at Trinity College, Dublin, where he received his bachelor’s degree. After a brief spell of teaching in Belfast, he became a reader in English at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1928. There he met the self-exiled Irish writer James Joyce, the author of the controversial and seminally modern novel Ulysses, and joined his circle. Contrary to often-repeated reports, however, he never served as Joyce’s secretary. He returned to Ireland in 1930 to take up a post as lecturer in French at Trinity College, but after only four terms he resigned, in December 1931, and embarked upon a period of restless travel in London, France, Germany, and Italy. In 1937 Beckett decided to settle in Paris. (This period of Beckett’s life is vividly depicted in letters he wrote between 1929 and 1940, a wide-ranging selection of which were first published in 2009.)
As a citizen of a country that was neutral in World War II, he was able to remain there even after the occupation of Paris by the Germans, but he joined an underground resistance group in 1941. When, in 1942, he received news that members of his group had been arrested by the Gestapo, he immediately went into hiding and eventually moved to the unoccupied zone of France. Until the liberation of the country, he supported himself as an agricultural labourer.
In 1945 he returned to Ireland but volunteered for the Irish Red Cross and went back to France as an interpreter in a military hospital in Saint-Lô, Normandy. In the winter of 1945, he finally returned to Paris and was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his resistance work.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg (from Wikipedia)
Sir Michael Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 5th Baronet (born May 5, 1940) is an American television, film, music video, and theatre director. Beginning his career in British television, Lindsay-Hogg became a pioneer in music video production, directing promotional films by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his work with these bands, he branched out into film and theatre, while still maintaining successful careers in television and music video production.

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