Callow and Pickup Will Join McKellen and Stewart in London Waiting for Godot

By Mark Shenton
16 Jan 2009

Simon Callow and Ronald Pickup will join the previously announced Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in the new production of Samuel Beckett's 1953 classic Waiting for Godot, which is being staged by Sean Mathias as the first production in his tenure as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company.



Mathias follows in the footsteps of Jonathan Kent, who directed three productions there, The Country Wife, The Sea and the musical Marguerite, in 2007-08.

The production will tour prior to its arrival at the Haymarket in April, kicking off at Malvern Theatres (March 5-14), then continuing to Milton Keynes Theatre (March 16-21), Brighton's Theatre Royal (March 23-28), Bath's Theatre Royal (March 30-April 4), Norwich's Theatre Royal (April 6-11), Edinburgh's King's Theatre (April 13-18) and Newcastle's Theatre Royal (April 20-25). It then begins performances at the Haymarket April 30, prior to an official opening May 6, for a strictly limited season that is currently booking to June 28.

Callow, who will play Pozzo, was most recently seen on the London stage as Mr. Darling/Captain Hook in the Richmond pantomime version of Peter Pan. He is a stage, cinema and TV actor, theatre director and writer. His extensive theatre credits include The Kiss of the Spider Woman for the Bush, Total Eclipse and Faust Parts I and II for the Lyric Hammersmith, Restoration for the Royal Court and Titus Andronicus for the Bristol Old Vic.

Ronald Pickup, who will play Lucky, has been seen in Look Back in Anger at the Theatre Royal Bath, Proof for the Donmar Warehouse, Amy's View, Peer Gynt, Three Sisters, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Richard II and As You Like It all for the National Theatre, The Norman Conquests at the Gielgud, Julius Caesar for the Royal Court, Hobson's Choice and Little Eyolf for the Lyric Hammersmith, The Cherry Orchard at the Aldwych and Uncle Vanya both on tour and for the Rose Theatre Kingston.

McKellen and Stewart, who respectively play Estragon and Vladimir, first worked together in the original production of Tom Stoppard's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1977 and more recently in the "X-Men" films, as Magneto and Professor X. Each of them has established his own iconic screen persona, as Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" and as Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek," respectively.

Director and writer Mathias most recently directed Triptych at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg and the Southwark Playhouse and Ring Round the Moon for the Playhouse Theatre. Amongst his extensive credits, he has directed Talking Heads for the Theatre Royal Haymarket, A Little Night Music and Antony and Cleopatra for the National Theatre, Suddenly Last Summer for Warehouse Productions at the Comedy Theatre, Shoreditch Madonna at the Soho Theatre as well as Les Parents Terribles for the National (subsequently restaged on Broadway under the title Indiscretions, for which he was Tony-nominated) and Design For Living at the Donmar, for both of which he was awarded the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Best Director Award. His other Broadway credits include The Elephant Man and Marlene.

For this season, the Haymarekt Theatre Company will offer a number of top price tickets at 10 for each performance, available on the day of the performance only direct from the box office at 12 noon.

To book tickets for the West End run, contact the box office at 0845 481 1870 or visit www.trh.co.uk. For more information on the production, visit www.waitingforgodottheplay.com.