Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen Arrive at No Manís Land While Waiting for Godot

By Mervyn Rothstein
03 Aug 2013

Billy Crudup
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

"The mystery deepens and we begin to question everything we have thought was accurate," Stewart said. We learn "that Hirst is a famous man of letters, a poet, an essayist, who has had a very distinguished career. But we're told these things by other people. And because this is a play by Harold Pinter, we're not sure they're the truth."

Spooner, McKellen said, is poet and a "loner; he has a huge ego, and probably some talent as a poet." The character also "said he believes in the present. That's the only thing that is certain. The past and the future are dangerous places to venture perhaps. I'll be looking for the present in the character all the way through. And I'm sure it's there because Pinter himself was an actor, like many great playwrights, and there are great acting possibilities." (Pinter himself portrayed Hirst in London in 1992.)

Starting Oct. 26, when Stewart, McKellen, Crudup, Hensley and Mathias move to Broadway and take on Godot, Stewart will be Vladimir and McKellen will be Estragon. (Hensley will be Pozzo and Crudup will be Lucky.)

McKellen said he is "selfishly delighted that we're doing two plays in repertory, because it's what I'm used to at The Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, where repertory is the order of the day. I was brought up on that system of doing a number of plays at the same time. It makes it much easier to play them and keep the plays fresh for the audience."

The pairing of the two plays is appropriate, Stewart said. "I have read that Pinter said something to the effect that he could not have become the playwright he was had it not been for the work of Samuel Beckett."

Also, Stewart said, each play has four male characters. "And in both plays there are more questions than answers."