Sunday, December 06, 2009

Waiting For Elmo

I think I've got just enough self awareness to know that I can occasionally be right up myself about arty-farty stuff (take some of the Film Club fare and subsequent reviews). Goodness me, but I like John Cage's works, for heaven's sake.

So, without fear of ridicule, I'll go on record as saying that Waiting for Godot is one of my favourite works of art. A play renowned for the fact that nothing happens. Twice.
To my regret, I've never seen it performed "in the flesh".

Vladimir's short speech in Act 2 sums it all up beautifully. By now the audience (if they've not seen 'Godot before) will have cottoned on that nothing is about to happen again. Vladimir is talking to Estragon as Pozzo and Lucky lie entangled on the ground, unable to raise themselves. Pozzo has called for help. "Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better.

To all mankind, they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears!

But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. let us make the most of it, before it is too late!

Let us represent, worthily for once, the foul brood to which a cruel fate has consigned us!

What do you say? [Estragon says nothing]

It is true that when with folded arms we weigh the pros and cons we are no less a credit to our species.

The tiger bounds to the help of his congeners without the least reflection, or else he slinks away into the depths of the thickets.

But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question.

And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer.

Yes, in this immense confusion, one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come

OK - well done, you've got this far. here's the pay off. I was looking on YouTube for a filmed version of this speech; I searched in vain. It is there but only buried in long extracts which, whilst I enjoyed them hugely, are too much for a simple blog like this (if you really want to see click here, the speech above is 5 minutes 53 seconds into the action).

I did, however, find this wonderful clip of some Sesame Street muppet characters performing Waiting for Elmo.

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