Peter sees hope in Beckett masterpiece

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Peter Green admits it’s the most difficult thing he has ever done, but he expects the rewards to be huge.

Waiting for Godot became an instant favourite when Peter first picked it up seven years ago.

Peter Green

Peter Green

Now he is bringing Samuel Beckett’s play to the stage with the Regis Players, of which he is both founder and former chairman.

Peter will be playing Vladimir in the production which will be at Felpham Village Hall on February 1-2 at 7.30pm.

It’s a project which hasn’t been without its hitches. They are now on their fifth person to play Pozzo.

But Peter is delighted that it is all coming together now.

“About seven years ago, I was visiting my daughter in New Zealand and got fed up with all the outdoor activity. To keep sane, I went into one of the bookshops and got an edition of the play, which I read and was absolutely fascinated by.

“What I loved about it is that it strips away all the things that can divert us during the day, like having lunch or meetings, and asks what actually happens when that occurs. We have got two people that have got absolutely nothing to do. It’s a play about how people fill their time when they are waiting.

“There is this person called Godot that they are waiting for. But who is he? We know he is not God. Beckett said that he is not God. But who is he?”

And as they wait, Vladimir and Estragon talk, with Vladimir at one point pondering the two thieves crucified alongside Jesus Christ and the strange fact that only one of the Four Evangelists – so he says – mentions a thief being saved. As Peter points out, it is one of the many dualities running through the play - Vladimir and Estragon, Pozzo and Lucky and the fact that effectively nothing happens twice as the non-events prove cyclical. A little boy runs on and says that Godot is not coming today, but that he is sure to come tomorrow, and so it all begins all over again.

“It’s a play about choices. You either to do this or you do that.”

But for Peter, Waiting For Godot is above all a play about hope, not so much about the fact that Godot doesn’t come, but more about the fact that the characters continue to hope that he will.

The characters talk about hanging themselves: “But the thing that they hang on to is continual hope. They have always got something that they are looking forward to. For them, they feel they have done something that proves that they exist.

“It’s the most difficult thing I have ever done, learning the lines. There is a huge volume. Vladimir is one for big speeches, and a couple of them are quite famous speeches. But funnily enough, the biggest challenge is the fact that the words are very similar when it becomes a cycle.”

Peter happily concedes that it is not an easy play. Far from it: “It is no ordinary pot-boiler. But most people will have heard of it, and if people have read reviews, they will know how good it is.

“It’s a play about waiting. Beckett changed the rules. This was the first of those plays without character development, without plot development. It is just about two people filling time, but the words are so good that people get riveted watching them do nothing.”

Tickets are available from WeGotTickets, from Felpham Post Office and from Bernard Taylor on 08456 804758.