Endgame is considered one of Samuel Beckett’s most important works, however he is best known for Waiting for Godot, last seen at His Majesty’s Theatre in 2010.
The title comes from Beckett’s enjoyment of the game of chess, where there are few moves left to play.
The analogy suits the characters in the play, inviting the audience to look at the absurdity of life and approaching death.
Endgame is a one act play with four characters – Hamm (Geoff Kelso) who can’t stand, Clov (Kelton Pell) who can’t sit and Nagg (George Shevtsov) and Nell (Caroline Mc Kenzie) who have no legs and live in dustbins.
The set, by Black Swan’s new set and costume designer Tyler Hill, is sparse; Becket gave strict rules about this – an empty room with two small windows, a chair, two dustbins and a few bits and pieces.
The characters have lost hope and are dependent on one-another – they are tragic but also comic.
A great line is “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” Beckett apparently said that if audiences got a headache trying to work it out, they should provide their own aspirin. Andrew Ross says “it’s consciousness looking for interpretation.”
Ross, who was Black Swan’s founding director, together with four very talented veteran actors who have all worked together many times, have provided a wonderful interpretation of Beckett’ s play.
Endgame runs at the Heath Leger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre until 11 June, starting at 7.30pm.
There is no interval. Duration one and a half hours.
Photographs: Daniel James Grant