Two Productions of Waiting for Godot Clash

News   Two Productions of Waiting for Godot Clash A planned production of Waiting for Godot is now unlikely to have a prolonged London run as scheduled because of a rights clash.

And, Sir Peter Hall, whose staging has been denied permission for a run in the capital, is reportedly livid.

Hall, who directed the first English-language production of Beckett’s play and some years ago revived it in London (with a cast including Ben Kingsley and Alan Howard), is set to stage it once more as part of his annual season at Bath’s Theatre Royal. Hall has returned to the play to mark its 50th anniversary.

However, the rights to a London run are currently held jointly by the Barbican Centre and the Gate Theatre in Dublin, who have scheduled their own production to play at the Barbican early in 2006. The Gate’s artistic director told the Independent newspaper that Hall had been offered a slot to bring his Godot to London in 2005 up to Sept. 1, but that he had failed to bring it in time. "[Beckett’s] estate do not want two productions on at the same time," Colgan told the paper. "You can’t just say I did the first production so I should be able to do it."

But Hall contends that the small Arts Theatre, where he wants to bring his staging (and where his original production played), is so small as to be insignificant to the Barbican. “I’m very upset about it,” said Hall to the Independent. "The Arts Theatre only holds 320 people, so it is hardly major competition. They wouldn’t even have a meeting to discuss it . . . Beckett would have been appalled."

Colgan accused Hall of "bullying": "He’s coming on like a child with big tears coming out of his eyes, saying, 'This is terrible, nothing is happening' — but what is happening is that he is trying to bully us." The Bath show is set to open on Aug. 16. Hall hopes that he still might be able to bring it for a one-off performance to the Arts in early September.