ON BRACKLESHAM SANDS

 

The burnt-skin glare of day, sun sighing,
Beaching into reefs of deep red light, as twilight reels in the bay.
The darkening night shore smells of nameless sea flowers and of death.
Lights up.
Neon columns proclaim the distant town, and the raw, rough boys.
Out there, beyond harbour; stationary ships, slack bouys,
But hopeful lights,
And here, braving the hard shore edge, the square box windows on private lives.

Trippers retreat and we reclaim new territory; the fishermen.
Moon films of sandy wet, mounded by riggish worm,
Everywhere the bait, under our stealthy feet.
A torch beam blinks, goes out, searching and dipping in and out.
My new found neighbour in the dark? A friend?
His grittish, shadowed knowledge shy of those purer trails;
Bright corridors down the lovely moon,
Across the wild sea, to you alone, to me?
My private, sacred angle,
But shared by everyone who looks and moves along the shore,
And wide as seeing.
A person is like a poem’s line,
Experience the sea.

We are all illuminated, or darkened.
We are everything, or nothing; pebble or the sea.
I loved you, but lost our thread. The cast too sharp, I broke the line.
Why did you hurt so much, for fear of being hurt,
Or fear of hurting? But nothing can be caught.
Cut fish flesh, blood, and a barb,
Weighted on sand slop beach, then flung to the shrugging waters:
The dead-head plop of expectation,
My isolated drowning, or a rising dream of hope.

Who needs a fish,
Trust to the land?
Two girls, hand in hand,
Come trailing the whispering bay,
Suddenly laughing, out of the dark,
Navigating my alien warning, my weird intrusion,
To disappear down the moon,
Like youth.

The world is a trick of the light.
A child can feel the sea through the new dropped line,
Sense into mind, testing the hopeful mystery, then knowing,
Pleased or shocked or horrified.
But we grow into failing feeling, for safety’s sake,
Or trust blind luck, a skill, much harm – the catch.
Or we drown in scales of pain,
Too sharp for human skin,
Cutting an opening in our dying blood.

Borrowed rod, fixed point, nowhere,
Sunk in the sand,
Stabbing the spattered stars,
For delicate direction, certainty,
But flagging a sea of centuries.
Yet the bay held us all, whole, in this element, a while,
Soft kissed the dreaming air, and gently urging swell,
Wide as the swaying sky.
Its silent crash of noise, then boom,
Sounding my restlessness and wanting.
A longing, limitless, or a learning to be in peace.

Nothing stops. Everything is dark and light, moving.
Scales of the sea bass moon glance on a breaking wave.
As the earth tilted back on the crescent,
Sunken to half blood orange,
A giant question in the sky,
It vanished too, over the rim, hooked on its orbit; but a sea change.

As the tide-turn changed our fisher minds.
We both crept up the shore, shifted, wary of cold, failure,
Purposefully drifting back,
Neighbourly as seaweed.
As the earth rolled back, looping the lightless sun,
Curving again, through sleep, into glaring waking,
The stars were endless though, the sea a lovely dream,
Wet sand on skin as warm as touch re-found,
While an ancient line, taught into deeper waters,
Caught me nothing, and everything.

DCD

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A VERY HAPPY TURN OF EVENTS, FROM PHOENIX ARK PRESS

Dear All,

the fake snow is falling across WordPress pages, Brexit is absurd in a World that needs more unity, Donald Trump is, well, Donald Trump, and Christmas is about to stress you with the day nothing gets sorted out. But HAPPY CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR to everyone, from Phoenix Ark Press, together, alone, troubled, happy already, not reading this, glancing, controlled by the Likes, (they never put a Hate button), and remember, today and tomorrow are the real turn of events, the Solstice, and the moment our Earth arcs back towards the burning sun and it all happens all over again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A FAN AND YOUNG PUBLISHER BRINGS OUT SCREAM OF THE WHITE BEAR

Well, people have enquired many times here, and it has taken eight or more years, but a fan here, supporter, young author himself and online US publisher, Jonathan Thurston, will publish SCREAM OF THE WHITE BEAR by David Clement-Davies, in 2018. Actually it is to be entitled CRY OF THE WHITE BEAR, in the spirit of a new adventure, and leaving behind the really terrible battle that was fought over it and other principals of art, law, truth and decency, with the major New York publisher Harry N. Abrams.  Which, because so much is about money over principle in the world today, has sky-rocketed to success with Young Adult books like A Diary Of A Wimpy Kind, that has sold over 180 Million copies.  The real story of its delay is probably as powerful as the book, but although David is sceptical about so much about the Internet world, or indeed how you really publish without the powers that be, or how much people are truly reading and connecting now, it is entirely appropriate that a young man of talent and passion like Jonathan tries to bring it to the world, with a quiet apology from the author for having disappointed his fans and readers for too long.

screamcoverpdf_page001a

4 Comments

Filed under Books, Culture, Fantasy, New York, Publishing, The Arts, The Phoenix Story, Uncategorized, Young Adult

MY STARS TONIGHT

My stars tonight are punctuated by people –

Scattered, tarnished, ever-distant jewels of present, past and future,

Hanging up there in the giant, curving  heavens like longing eyes-

Lost friends, the known, the Dead, the Great and all that’s greater –

The feeling of our infinite, infinitely broken, utterly minute connections.

To see a clear and lovely sky of stars though

Is always like a gift – renewed surprise,

A memory of purity, idealism, brave adventures

And a hope.  A map of wonder, picked out by our little questions,

And our endless namings too, and all our needs for definition:

Orion’s belt, The Bear, that mighty Plough,

Who’s giant furrow hangs above our understanding, just like  Time and History.

Those friendly, knowable names, in all our search for clear identity – the Map:

Would I were steadfast as thou art?

And yet the stars, like you and I, or love, are something else –

A burning doorway to the fire, the infinite, and death, always beyond our touch,

Hung in the ceaseless heavens like mighty rivers, twinkling repeatedly at our shames –

Our sad betrayals, our pettiness and pride.

Maybe that’s what the sky is,

And all those stars, and all their endless heavens too;

A call at every moment, when we look,

Like icy water thrills the waking the body ,

To be alive, to know and try to live again,

With every strange, familiar, mapped-out revolution of the Earth and Sun and Moon –

Before our special star goes out. The repetition of all that astonishing, icy,

Violent, hopeless grandeur of  Everything.

 

 

DCD Camaiore December 2017

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

LAUNCHING DAVID CLEMENT DAVIES’S SCULTPURES

IMG_20171207_143615

Phoenix Ark Press are delighted to support and help launch the work and the new sculpture website of author David Clement-Davies, and of course MD here,  which has just gone live and which you can visit by Clicking Here It’s web address is DCDSculpture.com

David had a life long dream to sculpt and now his work and ideas are coming to fruition with a series of beautiful Hummingbirds in bronze, with variable bases and patinas.  He sells in editions, multiples and also works to commission, and his prices are on the website, under THE WORK.   He is following this series with editions of bronzes sculpted around the theme of Fairy tales, is doing a huge Hummingbird and flower, and also works in marble. Have a very Happy Christmas.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, The Arts, Uncategorized

ARCO ARTE – IN THE MARBLE MINES OF MORIA AND MICHELANGELO!

“Lavorare!” comes the cheerful cry from Boutros Romhein, “Work”, as for two happy weeks we chip, tap, grind and hammer away at our sculptures at his school Arco Arte, in the wild mountains of Carrara.  In a two week course, which at around 1250 Euros, including simple accommodation, is remarkably good value, it is the first and very best lesson for aspiring artists in marble.  There is so much to learn about stone, form, tools, style, finishing, and so on, which any real sculptor will tell you takes a lifetime, adding they are always learning too, that you simply have to get on and do it – WORK. But what blissful and consuming work it is.

IMG_0239

Boutros, with that wry smile

Boutros, a charmingly warm hearted and highly regarded Syrian sculptor, who often appears dusted in white like an old testament prophet, has been working in marble for over 55 years.  So by the little stream, in the neck of a valley mined for marble since pre-Roman times, which Boutros is convinced resists any bad energies, a giant mouthless whale, a laconic camel, and an abstract angel are some of the testaments to his passion, knowledge and his skill. In a large workshop below the school the leaves and vines are washed in marble dust too, not harmful – being essentially calcium carbonate, as Boutros and Eric, a young mason from Germany, put the finishing touches to a gigantic, prowling, two-tailed lion, destined for a park in New York State. Now what began as a block weighting 60 tonnes, is refined down to a mere 20!

Up at the little museum in the mountains though, where a sign points the way to the Cavo di Marmi, Boutros, a local celebrity, created all the sculptures himself, over a quarter of a century ago. So testifying to the grinding human reality of life working those marble mountains. Once it was only hand tools, donkeys, carts and back breaking work.  Now something like a thousand trucks rattle up and down the valley every day, far too fast, like all Italian drivers, passing through a special lorry wash to keep down the dust, and cutting machines chug and slice late into the night.  So providing marble to the world, in essentially industrial Carrara, unlike the now very chic and expensive Pietra Santa, not from the visionary hands of a Michelangelo, not for the statues that are everywhere, but for all those kitchen table tops, terrazzi and marble stairs. But interestingly also ground down too and used in agricultural and animal feed products.  You wonder when these mountains then, rising into the Italian blue like petrified ski slopes, will disappear completely, as life and man consume the world. But it proves one thing, marble isn’t bad for you!

IMG_0247

James, Liv, Gina and Barbara at the presentation – schools out!

So comes a drive right into the heart of the mountain, through a kilometre long tunnel that feels like entering the mines of Moria from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But once inside with the tourists there is no sense of Orc attack, only magic.  A quiet awe descends, looking at these vast internal galleries of negative space, where they sometimes hold concerts, or make sleek adverts for expensive cars. Then, on the other side of the mountain, we drive to the quarry Michelangelo himself used, where perhaps the stone for David, or his immortal slaves in Florence, was quarried.  The municipality will forgive me picking up two little pieces as a special souvenir, ok, nicking them, but then all artists know the dubious nature of valuing any piece of art, or perhaps anything beyond people. After comes a visit to Boutros’s nephew Osama too, at Studio Alnassar, whose own work is remarkable, and who has created a fascinating atelier with two marble amphitheatres, where he holds concerts and talks and breathes the very unique spirit of the place.  There is an awareness of the tragic issues back home in Syria, and Boutros’s brother is also a sculptor, but here Boutros talks the strong stone language of how everyone needs protecting, and a family have long found a new home, and a new or ancient meaning. That speaks a greater language than politics or power, and attracts people from all over the world.

IMG_0248

Boutros, delighted and obsessed with Rascal’s tail!

So we worked on in several languages, and only one, Art: James from Atlanta, on a ten year adventure bucket list that would put a bucket to shame, warm Gina from Wisconsin, Liv from Norway, an enthusiastic French couple, a young man from Japan, two German girls – Silvia a skilled sculptress herself – and me and my special dog Rascal, whose sweet nature and helicopter tail delights Boutros.  I was trying to sculpt a hummingbird, the most delicate of creatures, in the hardest form, and Boutros looked very sceptical as it got smaller and smaller and refused to fly. “No Lavorare – Go to the beach!”. As for the art, Boutros usually denies discussing form, that’s up to you, and if something cracks, or seems wrong, there is another laughing cry, like a question, “In the river?!”  Then all those centuries of work must have seen so many hopes, so many mistakes, so many accidents and disasters, and of course some wonderful revelations, that you soon learn you can’t be precious about it either.   The sculptors I have met here too, whether Arne, a much regarded artist from Norway, or the dashingly marble haired Martin, a famous Hungarian who has moved to America, or Christian Lange in Pietra Santa, are all generous in their spirit, their openness and their understanding.  They know people are having a go, finding a new way perhaps, maybe trying to be professionals too and there is a humility in sharing that journey.  It’s why so many seem to come back to Arco Arte – where Boutros’s lovely partner Barbara also runs a very happy and relaxed ship – older, younger, the group of young German masons learning everything they can and settling for a morning and afternoon coffee, with sugar, no sugar, but then to hear that merry invocation again “Lavorare!”

IMG_0243

The said hummingbird,  by James’s fish, just down the way from his sail and splendid  Bull-pig, almost finished in its translucent majesty and very much for sale, one day!!!!

David Clement-Davies, fortuitously for Phoenix Ark Press, did a two -week course with Arco Arte, in hand and machine tools. To take a course or for more information CLICK HERE

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Culture, Genres, Language, The Arts, Uncategorized

A FRIEND’S STORY

It was rather fitting to stage a tale of illicit love on an Indian campus in the 1940’s, Vijay Tendulkar’s A Friend’s Story, in the sparkling and superbly intimate atmosphere of the Sam Wannamaker playhouse last week. That supposed replica of Shakespeare’s and Richard Burbage’s covered theatre, just over the river, although the Wannamaker playhouse is right next to the modern Globe. Which, at the turn of the Sixteenth Century, saw a major theatrical transition from the open air rounds of Elizabethan London to more claustrophobic Jacobean stages, a considerable hike in ticket prices and the appearance of candlelight too, the precursor to that famous ‘Limelight’, in this case those two huge candelabra that hang over this exquisite little stage and light the actors’ very internal journey through love and obsession, to betrayal and the search for redemption. One that, since it came to the Playhouse for only two nights, having toured so widely in India, candles adding new shades and shadows to the plainer black backdrop of the original staging, was exciting both for itself, not least because the play caused a storm when it was first produced in India in 1981, and for an insight into this always unusual setting and what it can offer to modern audiences.

A Friend's Story 3

So unfolded a tale beautifully told though, and one avoiding the overtly political, if human relationships are always political, essentially of a fateful love triangle between Mitra, the strident, anguished and very touching tom-boy outcast, always seeking her true place, the manipulative Nama and the innocent hinge of this tragic love story, Babu, at once gentle narrator and embroiled protagonist, played brilliantly by Abhay Mahajan. This sharp six hander is a somewhat old-fashioned story, much as it has been controversial in India for its themes of repressed homosexuality, or more controversially in India,  Lesbianism, so perhaps it found a new poignancy in such a very old fashioned setting. Though it was inevitable too that sitting there I found my thoughts at times drifting back to the true story of the theatre itself and the little revolution it represented in its day.

Sam_620-2-1[1]

A Friend’s Story has been billed as revolutionary, and indeed, in the Globe’s season of Love has consciously been brought here to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of Homosexuality in the UK.   Watching it in this particular space then highlighted for me the strange revolutions of time and cultures, from that ‘brazen’ age of seething Elizabethan sexuality, indeed Homosexuality especially prevalent in the Court of James I, right through to the murderous repressions of 1940’s morality in India. Although, as the title suggests, it is not essentially sexuality that matters, or precipitates tragedy, but the natural dynamics of affection, identity and especially jealousy that are present in all human relationships, and impact friends as much as lovers.

A Friend's Story 1

Framed by the ever-present theatre of changing social mores, in Shakespeare’s day the revolution happening was a stratification of theatre itself. That also saw actor-writers like Ben Jonson bemoaning the very commercialisation of theatre and the success of places like the Globe, in a world where the audience now sat upon the stage, and paid to do so. Though it was now ticket prices and sharply increasing social divisions, as the Jacobean Court consciously became a theatre of aristocratic superiority, that defined society, the face of what was publicly acceptable and the hypocrisies always beneath the surface, appearing so often in those blood thirsty Jacobean revenge tragedies. Although this play is also billed as Tendulkar’s Greek tragedy it does not have Shakespearean proportions, but was a pertinent choice for such a stage, even if for only so short a time, and a fine little production too.

Kate Macdonald went to see A Friend’s Story courtesy of The Globe Theatre. A Friend’s Story was directed and designed by Akash Khurana.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

BOUDICA – REVIEW

“By Jupiter’s arsehole”, but I came out of the first half of Tristan Bernay’s new play at The Globe, Boudica, feeling confused. Was this a masterstroke, to commission a bold new work with such obvious political overtones, considering Brexit, but partly in street-squaddie speak and partly in semi-Shakespearian Iambic pentameter? With the stark backdrop of a bronzed army stockade, to conjure the sense of Roman occupied Britain and a whirlwind of writhing, dancing forms, amid the stage smoke, was I being given a truly filmic experience, as the writer and director seem to have hoped? Yet if so, why was I beginning to feel bored?

TAN22502

I had high hopes as the female Goddess- narrator first conjures the piece like some Druidical incantation, since the story of the British warrior queen was really rediscovered in the 16th Century, and the sudden interjections of antique modernisms like Jupiter’s arsehole were both funny and seemed to work, at first.  Gina McKee is an actress I love, and as the dispossessed wife of a British King in bed with the decadent Romans, until the soldiers arrive from back home to inject some martial steel, offered a striding, heroic feminism, driven on and justified by Boudica’s own beating and the appalling rape of her two daughters by an entire Roman garrison. The problem was that in fact the language and poetry are just not very good, both derivative and becoming a kind of Shakespearean pastiche, while the play itself is a stockade of non relationships. Where were the quislings, the Britain’s really in bed with the Romans, in love or lust, the cross cultural relationships beyond a Monty Python cry of “what have the Romans ever done for us?”, the grit, grime and high life too, to give these characters any real reality and make this a play?  Bernays should study Christopher Logue’s astonishing War Music, a modern translation of Homer, to see how a poet can make the centuries come alive with thrilling modern resonance.

TAN19997

For those of us who remember the shock and hoo-ha caused by the National’s production of the Roman’s in Britain though, the nasty bits precipitating revolt and tragic bloodletting just aren’t very shocking, or moving either, perhaps we’ve all seen too much on all those films, and from there the play fails to find a real centre to support all the noise and pseudo poetry, as the drums go on beating. There is some good choreography, Samuel Collings is particularly entertaining as the effete Roman consul in charge of the collapse, Catus Deciamus, and Boudica’s daughters are both great, if they had the lines. I did wake up a little when the entire cast at the start of the second half, again summoning that ensemble player’s tradition, do a thumping rendition of  The Clash’s “London’s Calling’, though as if from absolutely nowhere.  The actors clearly thrilling to their presence so close to the site of Shakespeare’s original Globe by the Thames when they proudly belt out “Down by the River!”  But in the meantime, Londoners were largely Remainers and they felt like actors in need of a cause, or a really articulate voice.

TAN19937

Perhaps that’s the problem, when you can’t believe that all the skill, artistry, and money of the Globe and some great actors too wasn’t directed towards Boudica precisely because the artistic powers-that-be felt it would be highly topical and highly political too, and yet Tristan Bernays says he is not a political writer.  There seems a problem there from the start, for Shakespeare could be unashamedly political, so much so that his Roman plays directly sounded contemporary events in Elizabethan England and punters flocked to the literally life and death debate. Which is why the RSC did so well to try and make something of Cymbeline and Brexit.

What Bernays is, meanwhile, or wants to be, is a ‘portentous’ writer.  The play aches to be significant and of course the three tribe union and split inevitably echoes all that is going on with Brexit and the Union. But if a point is being made, I couldn’t see what it is. There are no true character arcs, or internal jeopardies, and in the end Boudica is just spikely lofty, though with splendid posture, and disappears back into Myth.  Sure, it calls to a certain atavistic instinct certainly around to tell everyone to fuck off and let rip, it makes great points as a black actress cries “I was born here”, and Roman Britain was more multicultural than we realise. It ends with a portentous note about the horrors to come, as the stockade literally cracks up. But in reality our perceptions of and problems with that Treaty of Rome today have little or nothing to do with whatever really happened in Boudica’s story and Europe is hardly any invading army.   In that the play’s desire somewhere to Brexitly stick it to them too is somewhat irresponsible, while having its cake and eating it, in warning of the darkness below the surface.   But in the end that wasn’t my problem with it, but the fact it doesn’t really go anywhere, misfires some very noisy energies and in the last analysis, to quote the man himself, and his real poetry, “is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

David Clement-Davies saw Boudica courtesy of The Globe Theatre. For tickets Click Here

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Language, London, The Arts, Uncategorized

A FAREWELL LETTER TO SIR PETER HALL – RIP

sir-peter-hall-with-daughter-rebecca-hall-who-plays-viola-at-the-photocall-BY4DPG[1]

Dear Sir Peter,

I wrote you a personal letter over 30 years ago,  you were kind enough to reply to, and so generously to say that it was one of the most acute you’d ever read on Shakespearean acting and directing, and since you were in New York at the time, told me to contact your secretary about a meeting.  Alas, I never took you up on the offer, I turned to writing instead, like a fool, and whatever might have happened, never got the chance to meet you.

Now the sad news of your passing has been announced today, I’m sorry I never will get such a chance. Not so sad though, in the sense you were a grand old age, 86, surrounded by  your family and your life and career have been an inspiration to so many.  In the review below we mentioned your directing Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot at The Arts theatre in London, for its premier in 1955, long before you ever achieved the deserved ‘Sir’ and it’s just one of so many astonishing feathers in your cap.  I’m sure the regrets and plaudits will pour in, from so many who knew and worked with you.  But to me, at a distance, you were always an inspiration. A fighter, someone both inside and outside the ‘establishment’, a fierce intellectual, and a man deeply committed to the theatre and the Arts: Director of plays and opera, film critique and of course one of the founders of the RSC.

That is a life worth living, and though perhaps everything passes, and any single play is necessarily ephemeral, the thread of your life and work goes on, not least in another kind of lesson, to seize the day. Thank you.

David Clement-Davies     September 12th 2017  The photo shows Sir Peter on stage with his daughter Rebecca Hall.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, London, The Arts, Uncategorized

WAITING FOR GODOT – REVIEW – A VERY WORTHY HOMECOMING

This is a beautiful little production of one of the seminal plays of the Twentieth Century, the programme probably rightly claims changed the face of theatre forever, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.  Not least because it opened last night at that great playhouse In Soho, The Arts, where the very first British performance was staged back in 1955, directed by a young and yet to be ‘Sir’ Peter Hall, who said at the time he didn’t understand it,  to a near cultural riot. One audience member was heard to remark “No wonder we lost the colonies”. “The Definitive Homecoming” declares the theatre billboard today, returning Beckett’s name to West End lights by throwing in an exhibition about the play and playright too, and they may have it right, as right as you can be, of course.

WaitingForGodot-08-PR-BW_BR5D0209

 

Director Peter Reid’s excellent notes point out the difference between those two gigantic Enfant Terribles of literature, and famous collaborators in Paris, perhaps a little like those aburdist wayfares Vladimir and Estragon themselves, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce.  Namely that while Joyce was a synthesiser, trying to encompass all and everything, Becket was an analyzier, trying to reduce things to their very core.  Indeed, one of his own comments about his little masterpiece Catastrophe, delineating the fate of an actress in the hands of a brutal and omnipotent director, the fate of us all these days, is that drama should be like a sculpture that stands the test of time and cultural change. Of course, time has moved on since 1955, nearly everyone has died, as you do, while Beckettian pauses and ponderings have become givens and literary tropes. But without placing Beckett himself in a reverential fish bowl, it’s Reid’s clear love of Beckett, and he has directed all his plays, and of theatre, that makes this such a lucid and sensitive production.

WaitingForGodot-27-PR-BW_BR7D0066

In near painted-on, Theatre-Jaques-Lecoque rags, with a famous pair of boots and that theatrical stone and coat-hanger-like tree, and backed by a projected sky and strip of sand that might be the path to Golgotha, or nowhere, which when a blue moon rises turns this piece to something of a Haiku, Nick Devlin’s and Patrick O’Donnell’s marvelous Everyman tramps weave and unweave Beckett’s linguistic and philisophical magic.  We are at once in a theatre, and not, at once inside human consciousness and failing to ever escape, at once with the absurd and the utterly tragic.  Of course Beckett would always smile when critics, agggggh, pondered the ponderous question of whether Godot was supposed to be God, with a long white beard or not, a God that never arrives, and the original, in French, was simply called Waiting.  But I had forgotten that Godot is actually a character that potentially exists inside the structure of the drama, and so begins Beckett’s extraordinary intellectual, philisophical and emotional games, ones that involve a lot of that Comedy too, Beckett so loved watching at University.  Though some of the physicality, in a very physical production, should be worked on.

WaitingForGodot-20-PR-BW_BR5D9939

Why the adjective beautiful was used with precision though, So Help Me God, is that for me this production so touches Beckett’s profound compassion and humanity, knowing full well the horror and brutality too, his electric wit, but also the core of his own poetry, the shere beauty of his language, that sings out in some of the monologues.  Part of it is the skill of the actors, and all are exellent, Paul Kealyn’s buffo Pozzo horrorfyingly appealing, Paul Elliot’s grotesque Lucky rising to a shattering crescendo when ordered to ‘think’.  Part of it is the tender chemistry between Devlin’s and O’Donnell’s co-dependent tramps, though the little boy should be given a credit, and at times there could be more swordplay, variation, indeed cruelty between Vladimir and Estragon. But another reason is one Beckett himself might not have approved of, in fact proscribed against, namely that Estragon and Vladimir talk in Irish accents, in a show that has transferred from Ireland.  “We are Irish”, says Reid though, and since Beckett too came from somewhere perhaps very Irish indeed, and that is a compliment, maybe that allows the actors to sit so comfortably, so humanly, so beautifully within the text, as players acting their hearts out, and characters that have become old friends. But also because that search for God or meaning in Beckett does seem to rise out of a perculiarly Catholic, Irish tradition, in a society haunted by Religion, while that profound undercurrent of radicalism in the play, also echoes the political realities and tensions that have so plagued England, Ireland and the English Language.  Beckett of course tried to go beyond, to sculpt a masterpiece beyond time, yet this production indeed gives the Master a worthy Homecoming.

David Clement-Davies went to see Waiting For Godot courtesy of ABI Touring and AC Productions.  For tickets Click Here

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, London, The Arts, Uncategorized