(Waiting for Godot)
Premiere: January 12, 2023 - Teatro Storchi, Modena
About this event
ERT has entrusted the Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos with the direction of Beckett’s most famous work: in the hands of Terzopoulos, Waiting for Godot becomes one lens to decipher the Other who, inside and outside of us, summons opposites: animal longing and divine tension, madness and dream, delirium and nightmare. A show that questions our own humanity.
On stage, two young performers and three of the most intense and sensitive Italian actors; the music is signed by Panayiotis Velianitis, one of the first Greek composers of computer and computer aided music.
About Waiting for Godot
by Theodoros Terzopoulos
Our performance of Waiting for Godot will be set on “the ruins of the world”, in a future more or less close to us, where all the present and the past wounds will be kept open. The same for the expectations… At this borderline of human existence, what are the minimum possible conditions for restarting life, a life that is worth living? In Waiting for Godot there are two possible answers and there we intend to support our work:
The first is the effort to communicate and coexist with the Other, the one who is before us, despite of any obstacles, even when these seem formidable! The second is the effort to communicate with the Other inside us, this inscrutable and dark area of repressed desires and fears, forgotten senses and instincts, the region of the animal and the divine, where madness and dream, delirium and nightmare are born.
This is the journey we will try to make: towards the Other inside us and towards the Other outside, opposite, away from us. This is the journey we try to do every day. Waiting for what? The Redemption of life from the shackles of death? The meeting with the Human, the end of every humiliation of human by human? The Nothing or the Waiting, as Beckett derisively says?
But is there another way to envisage the emancipated human, without breaking down the walls that separate this “inside” from this “outside”?
Extracts from Aspettando Godot’s press review
(…) “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett as you’ve never seen before. Powerful and definitive. It’s signed by a Master, Theodoros Terzopoulos. A great cast of actors that, in the couple Stefano Randisi – Enzo Vetrano, finds the pin of an oiled mechanism. With them worked, in an opera to be included in the annals of contemporary theatre, also Paolo Musio, lifelong collaborator of Terzopoulos, and the promising youngsters Giulio Germano Cervi and Rocco Ancarola. Quite a nice group of spoiling actors at the service of an unpublished re-writing of Beckett’s masterpiece: it helped to lift the veils and find new ways to assemble a production that is a jewel of both the actor’s art – rarely seen so motivated and inspired – as that of directing. And it’s not a simple adaptation but an original creation tout court. “Godot” is distorted remaining incredibly faithful to him. In other words, its original strength is restored to the work. (…) “Waiting for Godot” by the Greek master goes against the trend, he doesn’t care what the tradition of Beckett’s staging has become over time. Or that refers to the English playwright. In this show, everything becomes unexpected (as opposed to waiting, in fact) and Beckett is betrayed with each new step. But, paradoxically, exalted in his poetic hardcore, in the concise essence of his text, illuminating and direct that does not hide half-truths and therefore so dramatically current and within our time same.
Walter Porcedda, GliStatiGenerali.com, 18 January 2023
(…) I must note that the fundamental value of Terzopoulos’ direction lies in the fact that he continuously disassembles and recomposes Beckett’s text: or, more exactly, he neutralizes the well-known readings of the same and leads them back to the truth of the text itself. And this is a precious, as well as rare, example of how a director can put himself at the service of an author, clarifying and enhancing his message; and, moreover, illuminating the “consistency” of that author in the world, in history and in the today’s society. (…) Terzopoulos pushes the theatre out of itself, reminding us that we live in a world much bigger than a stage and that, in particular, on the words of Beckett’s text that we hear resounding on the stage weigh the “voices” of war coming from the world much larger than the stage.
Enrico Fiore, Controscena.net, 13 January 2023
In the background the air raid sirens that have become familiar to us from the war in Ukraine. In the center of the stage, an anthracite black parallelepiped that opens horizontally and vertically, drawing a cross. (…) That box is world and prison for Estragon and Vladimir (…), in this space the image becomes a body and the body of the actors evaporates in vision. The Greek director uses Beckett’s text, reshapes it and makes it the verbal column of an art installation that shows a bleeding humanity, a crucified humanity in which the nails are words driven into the soul, they are words that say of a distressing void and in which speaking is not a dialogue, but an unheard monologue, made up of unanswered questions. (…) Waiting for Godot by Terzopoulos is a theatrical machine that asks the spectator’s eye to abandon itself to the compositions that the actors and stage space define in a wait without any solution, in an invitation to reach an elsewhere inevitably disregarded, like the coming of Godot which it is up to the boy to announce that Godot will not come.
Nicola Arrigoni, Sipario, 2 February 2023
(…) it is clear that the Greek director, considered a Master of international directing, decided to challenge Beckett. With the curtain open, a square structure, in turn, divided into four squares, stands in the centre “of this place called stage”. They are not hermetically juxtaposed, they let light through, forming a cross in the centre of this strange flat Kaaba. The cross is a symbol that will return, in the movements and scenic signs that for Terzopoulos are a living body of dramaturgical writing, as much as the actors’ bodies – and it is one of the most anomalous choices made by the director. In front of what appears to be a wall, but turns out not to be, stands a small pot with a bonsai tree inside, centre stage, where the most famous dry sapling in the history of 20th-century theatre should be. Terzopoulos challenges Beckett and forces him to move. (…) Terzopoulos sets Beckett in motion again, sensing a path actually opened by the Irishman himself. This is immediately clear when the performance begins, and the structure opens up revealing its dimension of interstice or sewer or hyper-modern house of the future (but inspired by geometries between Bauhaus and Doric architectural order) in which Vladimir and Estragon (Stefano Randisi and Enzo Vetrano) lie skull to skull like Siamese twins while acting they touch each other, and feel each other’s faces. It will henceforth be a physical and acting tension that is anti-naturalistic, but at the same time powerfully vital, under the banner of sarcasm and levity that the actors will keep up, with a fine rehearsal throughout. (…)
Mario De Santis, HUFFINGTONPOST.IT, 17 January 2023
There are, intact and enhanced, that passion for the text, that ability to live fidelity to the written word as a continuous invention of meaning, which are constitutive of the “feeling” of Theodoros Terzopoulos, the great Greek director who signs a beautiful Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. In his staging, Beckett’s fable unfolds in all its terrifying “proverbiality” and, together, with a freshness, a clarity, a body of details that give a new and somehow original prominence to the human thickness, to the living and painful everyday life in which the allegorical machination of the text is cut out. (…)
Giuseppe Distefano, Exibart, February 2023
(…) with two master’s touches the which he is, the great Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos, has come to fully encounter the human tragedy present in “Waiting for Godot”, dug the abyss that we carry inside, and has scaled the peaks of our existence. The scene is absolutist and essential, full and omnivorous, it seems static but comes to life, it is alive and not vegetating, it moves, and it creates new ornaments and origami to fill and inhabit. (…)
Tommaso Chimenti, Recensito.net, 16 January 2023
set realized in ERT scenography studio
head of scenography studio and carpenter Gioacchino Gramolini
carpenters Davide Lago, Sergio Puzzo, Veronica Sbrancia, Leandro Spadola
set decorators Ludovica Sitti with Sarah Menichini, Benedetta Monetti, Martina Perrone, Bianca Passanti
design led Roberto Riccò
technical director Massimo Gianaroli
stage manager Gianluca Bolla
stagehand and prop woman Eugenia Carro
head electrician Antonio Rinaldi
sound technician Paolo Vicenzi
wardrobe Carola Tesolin
production Emilia Romagna Teatro ERT / Teatro Nazionale, Fondazione Teatro di Napoli – Teatro Bellini
in collaboration with Attis Theatre Company
photos by Johanna Weber