Waiting for Godot – a title that has become proverbial throughout the world. Probably no other 20th-century play holds such universal appeal. It is fair to state that, on the night when his “tragicomedy in two acts” premiered, Samuel Beckett completely changed not just dramatic literature, but the theatrical condition itself. On a road, by a tree, two down-and-out wights, seemingly out of a vaudeville routine or a silent film, amuse themselves with games and pranks, cry, laugh, and discuss everything: a pair of boots, the Gospels, suicide… They are waiting for someone who is not coming, who never comes: Godot, the mystery-character Beckett always refused to identify as God, being more interested in highlighting what happens while we wait than in what we are waiting for. A leading figure of the international theatrical scene and president of the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe, Romanian-Hungarian stage director Gábor Tompa led several actors from the Teatro Nacional São João’s almost resident cast in this production, which brought to a close, on 7 March, the TNSJ’s Centenary Programme. Back then, the performance only took place online; now, after a long wait, we will finally see Didi and Gogo’s puerile and clownish survival games, performed with the accuracy of a music score.
Union des Théâtres de l'Europe gathered, in the last 3 decades, some of the most important European theatres and artists. Through festivals, exhibitions, exchanges, masterclasses, cooperation projects, the UTE help create a continuous flow between West and East, between generations, between tradition and innovation. Our celebration is inspired by this rich history. With the help of the Interferences International Theatre Festival, we wish to remember some of the best performances presented at past editions of the UTE festival and look forward to new horizons.