Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review of The Hypocrite's Endgame

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Endgame. It was by Samuel Beckett and it was directed by Halena Kays. It was about a man named Hamm (Kurt Ehrmann) and his family member/servant Clov (Brian Shaw). And the world is getting all messed up and they are in this house where they have almost no food and their house is in pretty bad shape. They are all living in the same house with Hamm's parents Nagg (Sean Sinitski) and Nell (Donna McGough) who live in trash cans--totally normal! And they haven't even changed out of their wedding clothes even though they had a baby! The play is about respect and lack of respect, dire situations, and love. At the beginning you think, "Oh my gosh, they all hate each other." But by the end, you realize that they all love each other in some way. I found it sad and scary because everything is just falling apart, literally and figuratively. I think that people should still see it though, because it also has funny moments. It wasn't easy to understand, but that can make a play more interesting because then it doesn't just click in your brain; it makes you think about it and linger over each sentence.

I have not seen any Beckett so far, except for a funny version that was plays Beckett wrote in his childhood, most likely not the actual ones he wrote. It was called The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett as Found in an Envelope (Partially Burned) in a Dustbin in Paris Labeled "Never to be performed. Never. Ever. EVER. Or I'll Sue. I'LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!!." And it was a very funny show. And now I think he might have actually written those plays as a child if he was this weird as an adult. The two plays were both insanely weird and didn't make a lot of sense. But I still loved them because they were so weird but also you got to know the characters and you felt sorry for them when they were sad or in a bad situation.

When you first come into the show there are a bunch of balloons and party hats and it tricks you into thinking this will be a fun party show. But then once the curtain opens you see this wrecked house (set design by Elizabeth Bracken). From the outside it looks like a touring stage, so it makes it a theatrical performance. The characters are like characters instead of like real people like in most shows. You are thinking more about how ridiculous it is than how completely depressing it is because they still want you to enjoy the show instead of just being depressed the entire time. It wasn't realistic because of the way everything keeps falling apart and people are living in trash cans. But it is basically saying don't think of the future as bright, but then that kind of makes everyone sad, but then they make it even more ridiculous so then you won't cry throughout the entire show.

Clov is basically Hamm's servant. But it seems like they are also related in some way. Hamm calls Clov "son," which is also just a term of affection, so they could just be very good friends. Also Hamm was talking about this traveling boy and his father and you kind of think he might be talking about him and his son. Clov kept getting this ladder so he could see what it looked like outside and what was happening. And he kept slamming his fingers inside of the ladder and that was really funny. His expressions are just really hilarious. The way he reacts is like an old Harold Lloyd movie, which is very stagey. So then you laugh as a response instead of crying.

Hamm had a dog which was a stuffed dog (props by Danielle Case) which was made out of cloth and had button eyes and was very sad looking. And you don't really know if he actually thinks it is a real dog or not. And I find that super sad. He can't see anything and he has some anger management problems and he can't walk. He is not a nice guy but you still feel sorry for him because he doesn't really understand what is going on and he doesn't really know what's happening. He is in a really tough position which makes it hard for him to be a happy person. Then he takes his anger out on the people that he lives with because there is no one else to really even talk to. When his servant leaves, you don't really feel sorry for him because you think, "He got himself into this position by being mean to Clov all the time." I think Clov comes rushing to his side whenever he calls because he feels like it is his duty because he has known this person a long time and probably owes some kind of debt to him. It is also about love because he loves him too much to give up and say "I'm done."

Nagg and Nell both live in trash cans, as I've said many times because it is so freaking insane! I think they are trying to signify that these people can't be together because of some kind of barrier. And those are Hamm's parents, so that might be one of the reasons that Hamm is so upset and depressed. You see that they love each other and they are still trying to have a relationship, but they can't. I think that maybe they need to stay in trash cans because someone put them there before the world started getting weird and then they are cursed to being in the trash cans forever. And when they knocked on the trash can and one of them didn't answer and then you knew that one of them was dead, and the other one was so sad, it was just so sad because they still loved each other but they don't get to say goodbye to each other.

People who would like this show are people who like sad hilarity, trash cans, and stuffed dogs. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. You laugh and then you cry because you feel so many different emotions throughout the entire play. I really loved this show; it was insane but so much fun.

Photos: Evan Hanover

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