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Endgame

Published Friday 18 April 2008 at 13:20 by Chris High

Beckett is, pretty much, what you want it to be, although from this production of Endgame nothing but positives can be gleaned.

Matthew Kelly and Matthew Rixon grab hold of their emotionally dysfunctional characters and wring every nuance from them with aplomb as this story of dependency, hate, love, regret, hope and ambiguity unfolds.

Deftly crafted, the work lives and dies on the portrayals of Hamm and Clov, which here are brilliantly performed with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of integrity. The casting of the two Matthews - father and son in real life - is a masterstroke, as their uncanny resemblance adds to the overall picture of what it is for a son to look after an ageing, cantankerous parent, without hope of reprieve from the situation, unless they die and leave the carer to be cared for.

The grandparents - Nell and Nagg, consigned literally to the rubbish bins of life - are played with superb understatement by Ciaran McIntyre and Tina Gray. Their roles act as a reminder to us all that the old have a place in society and should be given the respect they deserve. As Nell recounts her happiest of days touring Europe, Nagg remembers things quite differently, but nonetheless fondly, and it is clear they love and depend on each other still, despite being deprived of physical contact.

In all, Lucy Pitman-Wallace and the Everyman Theatre have put on a wonderful production of a beautifully written play by adding the magic ingredient of a wonderful cast who work very well together.

Production information

Everyman, Liverpool, Author: Samuel Beckett

Director:
Lucy Pitman-Wallace
Producer:
Liverpool Everyman
Cast Includes:
Matthew Kelly, Matthew Rixon, Ciaran McIntyre, Tina Gray
0:
April 11-May 3
Running Time:
1hr 40mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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