Top 9 facts about Endgame starring Daniel Radcliffe at The Old Vic Theatre
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
Less than two months from now, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe will grace the Old Vic Theatre stage opposite Alan Cumming in Endgame / Rough For Theatre II. Are you ready for it? Here are nine essential facts about the play Endgame that will get you pumped for this star-studded London production.
Nine facts about Endgame at The Old Vic you need to know
1. Dictionary time: An 'endgame' is defined as the final stage of a game. Perhaps the simplest example would be the end of a chess match in which there are only a few pieces left and each player must defend their king from their opponent's checkmate. An endgame can also be a lengthy negotiating process (
and a hit Taylor Swift song). These definitions perfectly sum up the end-of-the-world vibes that the Samuel Beckett play gives off, as the characters face a constant battle of remembering, moving, leaving, or dying.
2. Endgame is Samuel Beckett's own personal favourite play that he wrote. It was penned before Waiting for Godot made its London premiere, and Beckett has described Endgame as 'more inhuman' than his debut piece.
3. Fin du jeu? Endgame was originally written in the French language and premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957 as Fin de Partie. Beckett later translated it into English.
4. Endgame still remains relevant over 60 years later. The climate crisis continues to rage on whilst society does nothing, all while greedy politicians like Donald Trump and his cronies continue to line their pockets with money that will end up being worthless once the apocalypse kicks in. Could Endgame's setting at the brink of global disaster feel more relevant now in 2020 than ever before?
5. Yin and Yang. Samuel Beckett's Endgame is full of polar opposites: life and death, isolation and partnership, the universal and the particular; and these themes carry through in the characters' interrelationships, making the play the ultimate exploration of the human condition.
6. It mirrors Samuel Beckett's interest in double acts. The main characters of the play, Hamm and Clov, bring to mind the playwright's previous arguing and existentially-troubled double act from Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon. Beckett was known to be a fan of the legendary tragicomic double act, Laurel and Hardy, and he has admitted to being fascinated by the thought of them performing a version of Waiting for Godot.
7. Two of the play's characters spend the whole time inside dustbins. Perhaps the strangest fact of all, Nell and Nagg, who are Hamm's parents in the play, sleep, eat biscuits, and look back on the good old days from inside dustbins. Beckett's actors are certainly used to physical constraints on stage; in other plays of his, characters have been known to be buried up to the neck in dirt (Happy Days), suspended in thin air with just their mouths left to be seen (Not I), and restricted inside claustrophobia-inducing funeral urns (Play).
8. Beckett is known for directing his actors "not to act". While Becket is notorious for his lengthy, detailed, and highly-specific stage directions, he generally advises his actors to be as minimalist as possible and also elects for scantily furnished set designs.
9. Endgame is a double bill, presented alongside Rough For Theatre II. Written by Samuel Beckett, Rough For Theatre II is rarely performed on stage and the piece centres on two men discussing the destiny of the other man in the room, who remains mute all throughout the play.
Endgame Old Vic Theatre tickets on sale now from £24!
You don't want to miss the highly-anticipated production of Endgame by Samuel Beckett, which makes its way to the Old Vic Theatre stage on 27 January 2020. Starring Alan Cumming, Daniel Radcliffe, and the recently announced Jane Horrocks and Karl Johnson, this double-bill of Beckett plays is guaranteed to resonate with modern theatre audiences.
Endgame / Rough For Theatre II is booking until 28 March 2020. Secure your London Endgame play tickets today to avoid disappointment.