Ben Whishaw Returns to Roots, Waiting for Godot in the West End

Ben Whishaw Returns to Roots, Waiting for Godot in the West End

Paddington star Ben Whishaw is set to make a return to his theatrical roots, starring in a new West End production of Samuel Beckett’s iconic play, Waiting for Godot. The 43-year-old actor credits this play with inspiring him to abandon university over two decades ago and pursue a career in acting. Whishaw will share the stage with Lucian Msamati, known for his roles in Game of Thrones and Gangs of London.

The eagerly anticipated production, directed by James MacDonald, is scheduled to open at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in September 2024. Whishaw expressed his excitement, stating, “It has haunted me since that night 25 years ago. And to get to do it with Lucian Msamati and James Macdonald, well, that’s just a dream.”

Waiting for Godot, penned by Samuel Beckett in the late 1940s, has earned acclaim as one of the most significant plays of the last century. The narrative centres around two men meeting under a tree, both anticipating the arrival of someone named Godot. Whishaw will portray Vladimir, while Msamati takes on the role of Estragon.

The last West End staging of Waiting for Godot occurred in 2009, featuring Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. Whishaw, renowned for his portrayal of Q in the James Bond films, expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity to perform in Beckett’s “radical and incredibly beautiful play.”

Lucian Msamati, reflecting on the forthcoming production, stated, “The wait has been worth it! I look forward to making merry mischief with James McDonald for the first time and a  too-long-overdu reunion with the creative brilliance and genuine spirit that is Ben Whishaw.”

Ticket sales for the production are set to commence in February, with additional casting announcements expected in the coming months.


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