A paradox at the heart of Beckett is that he uses art to explore the meaninglessness of human lives, when many would say the prime purpose of art is to find meaning.
Money and heroic self-sacrifice have been considered throughout history the rational motivations for risking life. In pandemic lockdown, we’re more aware of that than ever as governments weigh economic damage and national health, while workers battling on the frontline make the ultimate sacrifice.
Brontë’s angry classic, which has for decades fired up rebellious, ambitious girls and women, has found new resonance in our self-isolating times as the National Theatre at Home allows another frustrated generation to ponder its lot.
The theatrical brilliance of Endgame is thrown into relief by Jones’ decision to precede it with the rarely performed Rough for Theatre II, which Beckett is believed to have written around the same time as Endgame in the late 50s.
Almost exactly 100 years ago on April 13, in Amritsar, the British Indian Army fired into a crowd of unarmed Punjabis, killing and harming hundreds. Director Phil Wilmott marks this appalling example of man’s inhumanity to man by transporting Othello from Venice and Cyprus to the India of the British Raj.