Ben Whishaw, the protagonist of Paddington, will feature in a new West End production of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.
The 43-year-old actor attributes his decision to pursue acting instead of university more than two decades ago to the influence of the play.
In contrast to him will be Lucian Msamati, an actor with prior experience from Gangs of London and Game of Thrones.
Whishaw expressed himself as “indescribably ecstatic and thrilled, with a touch of apprehension as well.”
Production at Theatre Royal Haymarket
Beginning in September 2024, the production, directed by James MacDonald, will be presented at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
“At the age of eighteen, I was enrolled in an art foundation course in Bedford. One evening, a friend and I traveled to London to attend a Samuel Beckett play at the Barbican Theatre, which was part of a season of his works. Waiting for Godot was the title of the drama, Whishaw recalled.
“The following day, I cancelled my art course, deciding instead to pursue an acting degree.” I am beyond ecstatic and thrilled—and perhaps even a little apprehensive—to have the opportunity to perform Beckett’s absolutely revolutionary and exquisitely beautiful play.
Twenty-five years have passed since that night; it continues to torment me. “Moreover, the opportunity to do so alongside Lucian Msamati and James Macdonald is beyond description.”
Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, developed in the late 1940s, was one of the century’s most celebrated plays.
Two males encounter one another beneath a tree as they wait for an individual named Godot. The play comprises a sequence of dialogues among the male characters, both of whom are unable to depart.
Casting and Notable Performances
Msamati will perform the character of Estragon, whereas Whishaw will portray Vladimir.
Waiting For Godot recently played in the West End in 2009 starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen.
Whishaw has previously starred opposite Daniel Craig in the James Bond films as gadget savant Q, and in the adaptation of Adam Kay’s medical memoir, This is Going to Hurt.
He is scheduled to provide the voice of the eponymous bear in the upcoming film Paddington in Peru.
Msamati featured in Gangs of London, Luther, and His Dark Materials in addition to Game of Thrones as Salladhor Saan.
He stated regarding Waiting For Godot, “The wait has been well worth it!”
I eagerly anticipate my first mischievous outing with James Macdonald. It’s also a long-awaited reunion with Ben Whishaw, whose creative brilliance and sincerity are beyond description.
The producers say tickets will go on sale in February and more casting will be announced in the coming months.