Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton, the fast-rising young comedians together known as Totally Tom, will play the iconic central roles in this fresh new production of Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece.
Waiting for Godot, directed by Simon Dormandy and designed by internationally acclaimed set and costume designer Patrick Kinmonth, will open at the Arcola Theatre on 12th May, with previews from 7th May.
Two washed-up young drifters wait by the road for a man they’ve never met, hoping against all proof that now, as night closes in and their patter runs dry, they may finally catch a break. Over the bare horizon, a figure leads another on a leash. Can this be what they are waiting for?
In recent years, Beckett’s significant work has started to feel like a period piece, with its references to a long-gone music-hall tradition, ravaged post-WWII rural setting, and existential symbolism. Director Simon Dormandy has re-imagined the play for a young, contemporary audience so that its terrifying vision of life’s emptiness, as well as its rich humanity and sparkling humour, can speak with the unsettling immediacy that captivated its first audiences sixty years ago.
In pursuit of this goal, he has managed to secure approval from the Beckett estate to cast two young comedians as Vladimir and Estragon, rather than the more familiar casting of older, classical actors. Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton, Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy favourites and stars of BBC3’s stand-up series Live at the Electric, will bring contemporary character-comedy to this timeless vision of life as a horrifying joke.
Following their international sensation with their viral video, High Renaissance Man, Totally Tom were nominated for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Newcomer Award at Edinburgh in 2011, and made their television debut on Channel 4’s Comedy Lab. In May 2014, Tom Stourton will play the lead in Siblings, an original BBC sitcom by Keith Akushie.
Tom Palmer plays Vladimir. Theatre credits include Totally Tom (various), Colin Hoult (Leicester Square Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (London, Stratford-upon-Avon and Tokyo), and The Hothouse (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Film and television credits include BBC3’s Live at the Electric, Uncle, Watson and Oliver, and Doctor Who. Radio and podcast include Soho Diaries, Dean and MIDU, Young Girl, and High Renaissance Man.
Tom Stourton plays Estragon. Theatre credits include Totally Tom (various), and The Hothouse (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Film and television credits include About Time, Siblings, BBC3’s Live at the Electric, Bamboo, Common Ground, Cardinal Burns, and Harry & Paul. Radio and podcast include Soho Diaries, Dean and MIDU, Young Girl, and High Renaissance Man.
Jonathan Oliver plays Pozzo. Theatre credits include The Spire (Salisbury Playhouse); Antony and Cleopatra (Nuffield Theatre); Resolutions and Ship of Fools (Theatre 503); Clocked (Warehouse Croydon), and War and Peace (National Theatre). Film and television credits include Angel of Death, Agincourt, The Bill, and The Return of the Jedi. Radio and podcast include Freud: The Talking Cure, Bleak House, and Doctor Faustus.
Michael Roberts plays Lucky. Theatre credits include The White House Murder Case (The Orange Tree); Epsom Downs (Salisbury Playhouse); Hollywood Screams (Salisbury Playhouse, Studio); The Crucible and My Family & Other Animals (York Theatre Royal); The Mousetrap (St. Martin’s Theatre). Film and television credits include A History of Horror, Emmerdale, Eastenders, Only Fools and Horses, A View From The Bridge, Coronation Street, and Going Home. Radio and podcast include Dirk Gently: The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The South, Scandinavian Dreams, A Night At The Ukraine, Scored Stiff, and Man Of Soup.
Simon Dormandy (director). As an actor, Simon spent two years with Cheek by Jowl and five with the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as playing major roles at The Donmar Warehouse, The Old Vic and The Royal Exchange, amongst many others. Between 1997 and 2012 he was Director of Drama and Head of Theatre Studies at Eton College where his pupils included the actors Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Harry Hadden-Paton and Harry Lloyd; director James Dacre; producer Ed Bartlam (of the Underbelly); and comedians Humphrey Ker, Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton. Simon is currently directing the British première of Eldorado by the young German playwright, Marius von Mayenburg, author of Fireface, The Ugly One and The Stone. Eldorado opens at the Arcola on March 26th.
Patrick Kinmonth (designer) is an opera director and designer. He has worked as an artist in many disciplines – as writer and critic, architect, painter, film director, designer and art director, and is known internationally as one of the most acclaimed set and costume designers for opera, photography and dance of his generation. In 2008 Kinmonth made his debut as an opera director, conceiving a critically-acclaimed staging of Madama Butterfly for Cologne Opera.
Arcola Theatre, Studio One
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
020 7503 1646
Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Saturday matinées at 2.30pm
Monday 17th March 2014