Acting Redeems Baffling Play

Samuel Beckett may be hailed as a literary great, but his play Endgame was a somewhat unconventional choice for Skipton Players' latest production.
Having studied the playwright's Waiting for Godot some years ago, I did have some idea of what to expect.
But I must admit I found the play hard going - and was I the only one to find the "plot" difficult to grasp?
There was one redeeming feature, however, and that was the standard of acting, which remained excellent throughout.
It can't have been an easy script to learn, with some lengthy speeches and quite tricky dialogue, but it was obviously well-rehearsed - that the actors didn't forget one line when I saw the play on Tuesday was quite an achievement.
The play stars just four characters who live in what appeared to be a cell, and is centered on two of them - Hamm, the master, and Clov, his "servant".
The other two characters are Hamm's mother and father, Nagg and Nell, and, rather curiously, each lives in a dustbin - or in this case, a wheelie bin.
Les Kerkham was outstanding as the blind man Hamm, and the same goes for Andrew Jackson as Clov.
Nick Foster (Nagg) and Laura Daw (Nell) had smaller roles, spending much of their time inside the wheelie bins, but when they did emerge they too gave fine performances.
In fact, the only problem was the play itself.
I appreciate the Players may wish to provide audiences with a range of both literary and more popular plays, but I for one did not find this production in the least bit entertaining.
There was a certain amount of humour but very little action, and this was one occasion when some background information would have been appreciated in the programme.
It certainly left me wondering what it was all about!
Endgame is on stage at Skipton Little Theatre until tomorrow (Saturday) with performances at 7.45pm.

Review by Claire Walsh in The Craven Herald 09/05/97