Waiting for Godot follows two consecutive days in the lives of tramps Vladimir and Estragon, who divert themselves by clowning around, joking and arguing, while waiting expectantly and unsuccessfully for the mysterious Godot. 

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot exploded on to the London stage over 50 years ago when it shocked as many people as it delighted.

Waiting For Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket stars Patrick Stewart as Vladimir and Ian McKellen as Estragon. McKellen and Stewart, both renowned Shakespearean actors at Stratford-upon-Avon, in the West End and on Broadway, first worked together in 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. Both were nominated for Best Actor at the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards.

Ian McKellen makes his Beckett debut as Estragon. A much acclaimed screen and stage actor, McKellen is perhaps best known for his iconic portrayal of Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, for which is was nominated for an Oscar. On stage has worked extensively for The Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. 

Patrick Stewart is currently playing Claudius in Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Novello theatre.  Earlier this year he won an Evening Standard Award, a Critics’ Circle Award, a TMA Theatre Award, a Theatregoers’ Choice Award nomination, an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, a Laurence Olivier Award nomination, and a Tony Award nomination for playing the title role in Rupert Goold’s Chichester Festival Theatre production of Macbeth, which subsequently transferred to the West End and then Broadway. He is best known for his role Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek series.

The production is directed by Sean Mathias who has previously worked with McKellen on productions including Uncle Vanya and Dance Of Death.  Mathias most recently directed Johannesburg at Southwark Playhouse and Ring Round the Moon for the Playhouse theatre.  

For more about Waiting For Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, read the First Night Feature or Big Interview with Ian McKellen.

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