Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart talk about their roles in Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” and Pinter’s “No Man’s Land,” in repertory at the Cort Theatre. In “No Man’s Land,” two elderly writers, having met in a London pub, continue drinking and talking into the night. All might be well, until the return home of two younger men. In “Waiting for Godot,” two wanderers wait by a lonely tree to meet up with Mr. Godot, who they hope will change their lives for the better. Instead, another couple of eccentric travelers arrive, one man on the end of the other's rope.


Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart

Comments [12]

Ed - One man's terrorist in another's freedom fighter.Mandela was also a terrorist. Before terrorism was an issue for us -he was a terrorist. You can say his cause was just but don't deny history; he believed in blowing up men, women and children [civilians] for political reasons. You're either a hypocrite or rewriting history if you deny that. Just saying; calling a terrorist a "great man" sounds like something you would report to NSA if posted here about anyone else whose cause you don't support. The self righteous condemnation of todays terrorists who would kill civilians is a false condemnation -not based on valuing innocent human life but about power; how dare they do that to US![you don't support THEIR cause].

Dec. 11 2013 04:30 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Of course the Catholic view - supported by the evidence of many people who do great good (Mandela, a recent example) - would see these two as not using their talents. And that we are capable of living with God in this life (though not in its fulfillment yet), and capable of doing good either through our natural capacities or through grace.

Dec. 11 2013 08:18 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I think Bakhita died around 1940, so Beckett might indeed have heard of her. In the extreme Calvinist view that man is completely depraved after the Fall, and incapable of doing any good, and any plan will produce evil effects - then the best two human beings are Estragon and Vladimir - they have no plans and no projects. The only better person is perhaps Lucky, who suffers more without complaint. (And Pozzo is an example of someone who does adopt a project, and one sees the evil results on others.)

Dec. 10 2013 05:45 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Great conversation. Also, Pozzo is Italian, of course (well), so Lucky has that Italian connection also (Bakhita lived in Italy once free, and became a nun). Always thought Becket, from Belfast, gave the severe Protestant view in this play: we are redeemed by God, but we for now live totally without God, since we are, in this view, completely depraved from original sin. In this view man is incapable of doing anything good, so why act? They best one can do is to just wait. (Catholicism teaches that we are very good, but injured by original sin, so still capable of living with God in this world - to find fulfillment in the next - and capable of virtue and acts of real merit and value.)

Dec. 10 2013 04:32 PM

They were so gracious on the Broadway audience, but (at least on the night I saw Waiting For Godot) the audience was horrible. Overeager and undereducated, greeting each embrace with a big "awww" and laughing before the punchlines. It was awful. The actors were total professionals, but must have been appalled.

Dec. 10 2013 01:34 PM
Jeri from Washington Heights

These guys were great, glad they were rarely interrupted. Amazing Leonard would not change his pronunciation despite being gently corrected, stubborn!

Dec. 10 2013 12:44 PM
cc in Jc

Samuel Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot "as a relaxation, to get away from the awful prose I was writing at that time," the prose being his novels, Molloy, Malone Dies, and the Unnamable,
In 1969, he declined to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature in person for he was unhappy in the public eye.

Dec. 10 2013 12:38 PM
genejoke from Brooklyn

Legendary actors! Star Trek: TNG, the X-Men movies and LOTR would have sunk without these talented men. Cheers!

Dec. 10 2013 12:33 PM

Of course it's about waiting for God. We're all here "astride the grave and a difficult birth," passing our time .."What should I say if I meet him? Tell him we were here."

Dec. 10 2013 12:32 PM
Ed from Larchmont

St. Bakhita, an ex-slave from Africa who lived then in Italy and became free, and I think a patron saint of Africa, and had a terrible time as a child as a slave, had the nickname 'Lucky'. I wonder if that's where he got the ironic name.

Dec. 10 2013 12:29 PM
john from office

locutus of Borg is in the studio!! The Borg are not far behind. BEST TV EVER!!

Thank you Mr. Stewart

Dec. 10 2013 12:15 PM
Mia from Manhattan

Is there any chance that Sir Patrick will ever reprise one-man-performance of A Christmas Carol?

The audio recording is a gem and I listen to it ever year, and I consider myself very fortunate to have seem him perform it the first week of January years ago.

Thank you.

Dec. 10 2013 12:11 PM

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