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Endgame
by Samuel Beckett

Pentameters Theatre
2006, revived in 2007

Cast list

Reviews

Photography
(by Conrad Blakemore)

Hamm
Bryan Hands
Clov
Ian Lilley
Nagg
Tony O'Brien
Nell
Jackie Skarvellis
 
Directed and Designed by
Richard Newman
Costumes
Nicky Bunch
Casting / Press & Publicity
Jane Boyd

The Critics' Circle
(Virginia Dignam)
www.criticscircle.org.uk

Bryan Hands is outstanding as Hamm, complemented by Ian Lilley as Clov, with strong, distinctive performances by Tony O'Brien as Nagg and Jackie Skarvellis as Nell.

Subtly lit by Richard Newman with costumes by Nicky Bunch, this is a NOT-TO-BE-MISSED production of a controversial exciting play.

Hampstead & Highgate Express
Aline Waites

Endgame is not an easy play to perform but it has emerged triumphant. Bryan Hands plays the blind Hamm with unusual clarity of thought – making total sense of what must be some of the most convoluted speeches in the theatrical cannon. Ian Lilley as Clov has to carry much of the comedy. He has the stage to himself for the first five minutes of the play, performing in dumb show the acts that he obviously does every day, but always come to him as a complete surprise.

Hamm’s two aged parents Nagg and Nell, who have been consigned to two large dustbins where they remain throughout the play, are given the correct combination of pathos and humour. Jackie Skarvellis plays Nell with a sweet sadness, funny and moving in her nostalgia for yesterday. But as she says “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” Tony O’Brien’s wonderful droll face is perfect for Nagg who constantly tries to amuse with a story that everyone has heard too often. “It is still funny, but we don’t laugh any more.” Hamm treats him with the utmost contempt.

This is an excellent version of a difficult play acted out with simplicity and clarity. The piece is beautifully lit and designed in monochrome by Richard Newman, with costumes by Nicky Bunch. The incidental music - a bouncy rendering of “Let’s all go to the Music Hall” - sets the scene perfectly.

This is a production worth witnessing. Beckett is always intriguing and this is a true and faithful example of his work.

Camden New Journal
22nd March 2007

Bryan Hands is excellent as Hamm, the quintessential grumpy old man, whose words ultimately amount to little more than a few refrains. But they are delivered here with the right balance of pathos and poetry, ensuring the lines transcend the banal chatter of their appearance.

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