Most helpful positive review
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Beckett's masterpiece, a suberb drama of fearful intensity.
on 12 March 2001
'Old endgame lost of old, play and lose and have done with losing.....'
So says Hamm, patriach and master of the stage on which the play is set. Beckett originally wrote the piece in French (Entitled 'Fin de Partie')in 1957 shortly after the death of his brother and it was first produced at the Royal Court Theatre on 3rd April 1957. The two main protagonists, the blind, crippled Hamm and his lame manservant Clov live in a perpetual state of symbiosis- despite Clov's threats to leave and die in the wilderness beyond the stage and Hamm's threats to starve Clov, neither can live without each other, and they exist in a constant see-saw of pathos and hatred, love and hope. Written in Beckett's unique style of 'Lessness', the piece explores many themes in Beckett's own domain of contempory existence; our relationships, fears, and struggles against the dark. The play itself is wildly eloquent, the characters managing to attain hights of pathos but also a dark hallucinatory humour, often in the same line. As effective on paper as it is on stage, Beckett's Endgame must rank as one of the finest plays ever written, conforming to what may be described as 'modern theatre' but also expanding and exploring the genre at the same time. Beckett is one of the most important and influential writers of the twentieth century, and Endgame is his masterpiece. It is as relevant now as it ever was, and is a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in literature.