A play lingering on the “what if” aspect of the legendary “Waiting for Godot”
Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” is tantamount to existential angst. A generation of theatre enthusiasts were left scratching their heads about Godot — the one who never comes. The “what if” question has rankled many. David Curzon’s “Godot Arrives” will give the query a gentle tease. Cathaayatra will present Curzon’s play, which picks up the thread from where “Waiting for Godot” leaves it, this weekend.
Unlike Beckett’s tragi-comedy, “Godot Arrives” perches itself firmly on the comedy path, veering severely towards the Absurd. “This original play by the American writer is an absurdist comedy,” says director Sameer Thakur. “The characters Didi and Gogo do not find themselves in such tragic situations,” adds Thakur, co-founder of Cathaayatra with Arushi Singh.
The award-winning play dwells on regular, trivial and everyday affairs and assures action every moment, says Thakur. Though the play is set in a contemporary context, in terms of design it is absurdist — not belonging to a particular time frame.
“We have tried to portray today’s issues, the absurdities of today’s religion, sex and relationships,” says Thakur. Cathaayatra, which aims for community awareness through theatre and arts, meandered into the mainstream with “A Perfect Relationship” last year. With “Godot Arrives”, Thakur says they “have pushed the boundaries of humour even more.”
Cathayaatra as a group takes pride in its close association with humour. They deal with issues with a touch of laughter. “You will not see a tragedy coming from us,” says Thakur. “It is the most absurd things that make us the happiest. When you see the joke in a matter, it strikes you,” explains Thakur. It is on these lines which “Godot Arrives” promises to tread. Thakur was bitten by the “what if” bug after watching Beckett’s iconic play. Though he toyed with the idea of writing a piece, his decision to look for “something already written” on the subject led to Curzon’s play. “A solid and funny script makes the director’s work easier,” jokes Thakur.
Cathaayatra wants its mainstream experiences to be fodder to their voluntary work at the local level. Thakur, before forming the group, had spent considerable time with the legendary theatre personality from Punjab — Sardar Gursharan Singh, known popularly as Paaji. Inspired by his work, Cathaayatra came into being and was involved in community theatre with young people in the villages of Punjab and Haryana.
Cathaayatra moved to Delhi and its mainstream theatre is meant to be a “way of raising resources” and a “template” for the work at community level. It is still early days for them in Delhi where they are trying to find a foothold and give an arch to their community theatre.