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Fail again, fail better

Director, Polly Whitfield

The rehearsals so far have been fascinating and challenging. The word challenging is positive in this instance; keeping us on our toes, exciting, unpredictable and still looking at ways to challenge the writing, style and delivery. I adore Beckett. I love his writing, language and precision. I have approached Endgame as if it were a score rather than a play. Rhythm, pace and delivery is everything. Anthony, Philip, Ed and Jan are incredible-from engaging in Animal Studies such as work on Ionesco's Rhinoceros to becoming animals they believe their characters would be, like to be and perceive others to be. As a director I love theory, and discussion on why, what, when, where and how. We did have one Saturday morning, with much needed coffee, discussing the writings of Adorno, Benjamin and other great theorist and philosophers. We discussed the context of Endgame and started to analyse the characters and their relationships with one another. This was useful and needed however we came to the conclusion that we just needed to play. We moved away from character work, forgetting the past and future but to just allow the characters to play in the present. We discussed the game of Chess in Endgame, the hidden meanings in the text and the characters objectives in the piece. We have done Endgame as a silent film, as an operatic score and with complete exhausting dramatic inflection to a dull monotone delivery. We have played around with status, music, stillness and different levels on energy within the actors. I am starting to feel excited, I feel we are moving closer to a very wonderful Clov, Hamm, Nagg and Nell. I am so fortunate and lucky as a director to work with actors who are just so brilliant at saying 'yes' and 'let's give it a try', 'let's try it again' ...'fail again, fail better'. These characters are evolving, they are mesmerising and addictive to watch.

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