Taking a new approach to the Beckett standard, Artificial Moon Theatre present Dave Hanson’s hilarious Waiting for Waiting for Godot. The American playwright’s comedy guarantees a good laugh and an easy-to-take in experience as staged by the locally based troupe. The one-act play in English is now debuting in Budapest, starring Rod Hill and Ralph Berkin as the main characters wondering about the meaning of life while desperately trying to get on stage. The show is taking place this Sunday, 29 May, at the cosy Három Holló Café by Ferenciek tere in the city centre. We talk with lead actor, Rod Hill.

“The characters' snappy conversations wander around the randomness of luck and frustration about something you’re looking forward to but eventually never comes,” says Rod, introducing Waiting for Waiting for Godot.

After the success of Everybody and The Bald Soprano, Rod Hill and Artificial Moon theatre take up the challenge and bring comedy back in town. The last show to mark the end of this theatre season will be contemporary American comedian Dave Hanson's piece, Waiting for Waiting for Godot.

It builds on the Beckett classic, although it’s much more connected to modern life and questions of everyday situations. As the title suggests, it’s full of references to the original play, and if you're familiar with it, you'll understand a few of the in-jokes, exacerbating the comic effect.

The topic also aligns with the Beckett original, often referred to as “the most significant English-language play of the 20th century. But instead of waiting a lifetime for a person named Godot, who never arrives, Dave Hanson's comedy takes the waiting from a different angle. It's about two understudies waiting to finally get on stage and have the chance to act. Lead characters are played by English-Hungarian actors, Rod Hill and Ralph Berkin.

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot is a two-act tragicomedy by Samuel Beckett in which two characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), engage in a variety of discussions and encounters while awaiting the titular Godot, who never arrives. It was published in both English and French by Beckett. Many critics argue who Godot refers to. Some theories claim it's an allegory of God, although it's never been confirmed. It was an influential work of its time and still forms parts of the European literary classics. In 1988/89 it was voted "the most significant English-language play of the 20th century".

Rod’s character pretends to know everything, while deep inside he is just as insecure as his fellow colleague.

Though the play is simple, fundamental questions keep popping up between the laughs throughout the show. Why do you make certain decisions? At what point should you sacrifice yourself? Alongside runs the theme of mortality, which will come no matter what. Although these are huge issues to think about, the production walks the audience through this in a humorous manner.

“One of our priorities is to create a Hungarian translation of the play as we can reach more locals,” reveals Rod.

The public will certainly leave the room pondering on the life they’ve chosen and posing the rhetorical question: Is the journey or the dream more important? The answer is not that simple.

While Artificial Moon might give you a helping hand in deciding life-changing questions, they realised the production thanks to the expertise of director, Ádám Boncz. “His background in the art of clowning increased the dynamics of the funnier scenes throughout the play and Ádám has a good sense for comedy,” reveals Rod.

The theatre troupe has high hopes. After the show of Waiting for Waiting for Godot, they are planning a European tour with all three plays in their repertoire. And they don’t stop there… They will be back in Budapest with regular shows from the autumn, staging Everybody, The Bald Soprano and Waiting for Waiting for Godot.

Event information

Waiting for Waiting for Godot 
Artificial Moon
Három Holló Café
1052 Budapest, Piarista köz 1 (entrance from Szabadsajtó út)
Sunday 29 May, 7.30pm
Admission: 3,500 HUF