West End-Bound Waiting for Godot, with Stewart and McKellen, Begins Regional Tour March 5

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05 Mar 2009

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart
The pre-West End tour of a new production of Samuel Beckett's 1953 classic Waiting for Godot begins performances at Malvern Theatres March 5, where it runs through March 14, before continuing to Milton Keynes, Bath, Norwich, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

The production will arrive in the West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket April 30, prior to an official opening May 6, for a strictly limited season that is booking to July 12. Godot is being staged by Sean Mathias as the first production in his tenure as artistic director of the 2009 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 Waiting for Godot cast comprises Ian McKellen as Estragon and Patrick Stewart as Vladimir, with Simon Callow as Pozzo and Ronald Pickup as Lucky.

Callow, who plays 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 plays 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 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.

To book tickets, contact the box offices at the individual theatres:
Malvern Theatres, running March 5-14, 01684 892 277, www.malvern-theatres.co.uk
Milton Keynes Theatre, running March 16-21, 08700 606 652, www.miltonkeynestheatre.com
Brighton's Theatre Royal, running March 23-28, 08700 606 650, www.theambassadors.com/theatreroyal
Bath's Theatre Royal, running March 30-April 4, 01225 448 844, www.theatreroyal.org.uk
Norwich's Theatre Royal, running April 6-11, 01603 630 000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
Edinburgh's King's Theatre, running April 13-18, 0131 529 6000, www.kingstheatre.org.uk
Newcastle's Theatre Royal, running April 20-26, 0844 811 2121, www.theatreroyal.co.uk
London's Theatre Royal, Haymarket, running April 30-July 12, 0845 481 1870, or visit www.trh.co.uk

For more information on the production, visit www.waitingforgodottheplay.com.

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Roundabout Theatre Company's upcoming new Broadway production of Waiting for Godot, starring Nathan Lane (Estragon), Bill Irwin (Vladimir), John Glover (Lucky), John Goodman (Pozzo) and Matthew Schechter (Boy), will begin previews April 3 and open April 30 at Studio 54.