Book – Endgame
Author – Samuel Beckett
Year – 1963
Genre – Play
Pages – 60
Samuel Beckett is one of the greatest playwrights of all time. And he tends to write about… nothing.
Most famously he does this in Waiting For Godot where our two leading tramps spend their time waiting for the eponymous character to arrive. Endgame is, if anything, slightly weirder than even that, following Hamm – who cannot stand up – and Clov – who cannot sit down – as they do… nothing. Filling up the cast are Nagg and Nell, Hamm’s parents who live in dustbins and have no legs. Yes, it is an odd play.
And despite nothing happening – Clov looks out of the window, and Hamm strokes a dog, and this amounts to the vast majority of the play’s action – it is totally engrossing. We first looked at this play when I was doing A Level drama, and along with Godot it remains one of my very favourite plays of all time, although this is the first time I have read it in ten years. The parts are all great – except for the poor sods who have to spend the play in bins – and it would be a wonderful thing to perform.
I am sure that I could go into some great detail about the deeper meanings behind everything in the play, but I don’t really find that I want to. I am sure that it is all there, but sometimes it is nice to enjoy a play simply for the sheer beauty of it – even if that beauty is based upon, well… nothing.