Saturday, 15 August 2009

Beckett, at your convenience

It’s taken 11 months to get this far. Harry Michell conceived his idea for a production of Waiting for Godot at the start of the autumn term at the boys’ school. “We really tried to make use of the toilet, and give ourselves a reason for being in there,” says the young director. “We tried to make the best of everything – the urinals, the sinks, the cubicles, we had people climbing up on the cubicles, a little boy hiding in one.”

Weekend rehearsals were endlessly disrupted as pupils and staff drifted in to use the facilities: members of the school first XV, gym teachers, the bursar, and an occasional house master. “They’d arrive and see four schoolboys standing there in the toilets, one with a noose around his neck. They’d stop and do a double take and either walk out quickly or decide to duck under the rope and go about their business. Very brave of them,” Michell chuckles. “But really, it was as amusing for them as I think it was for us.”

Schoolboy stages Beckett's Waiting for Godot in a toilet, but incurs the wrath of the great man's estate. Read more in the Times Weekend Review: Beckett in the bogs.

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