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By Katharine Worth

A research of awaiting Godot and satisfied Days as texts for functionality, with designated bills of 4 performances: awaiting Godot on the nationwide Theatre, London, in 1987, and on the Royal alternate Theatre, Manchester; satisfied Days with peggy Ashcroft, in 1976, and Billie Whitelaw in 1979. there's dialogue of constitution and atmosphere, rhythm, language and elegance, and characterisation. Textual revisions made through Beckett himself during directing the performs are famous with regards to the nationwide Theatre construction which integrated a few of them.

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Extra resources for Waiting for Godot and Happy Days: Text and Performance

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Make them wait longer. Make the pauses longer. You should bore 58 15 GODOT, SCHILLER-THEATER, 1975 them'. This advice was, and remains, an important clue to the way Beckett conceives the rhythm of a production and the purpose of that rhythm. The audience have to be drawn into the position of the characters, and for Vladimir and Estragon that means, above all, waiting: 'Make them wait longer'. To recapitulate and outline the arrangement to follow. Apart from occasional illustration from productions of note (and reference to the Schiller-Theater productions of each play) I will focus on four British productions, including one directed by Beckett.

The tragic emotion, however, is usually thought of as more complex than this and the nature of the protagonist is part of the complexity. Before pursuing that last point, we need to pause and consider whether tragedy is a relevant term even to consider applying to such a play. It would be easier (and, it could be said, more appropriate) to settle for dark comedy or absurd drama, forms which have been identified by modern criticism as characteristic of our non-tragic times. It is true that there is more absurdity in Happy Days, also that it has a metaphysical resonance which goes far beyond the drama of individual character.

If it were, the first productions of both plays, in English and French, would obviously have had to be included. So far as Waiting for Godot is concerned, these were adventures into a most strange unknown, especially the first of all, Roger Blin's En attendant Godot at the Theatre de Babylone ( 15 January 1953), but also Alan Schneider's stressful American production with Bert Lahr as Estragon at the Coconut Grove, Miami (3 January 1956) and Peter Hall's, the first British production, at the Arts Theatre Club, London (3 August 1955).

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