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* Introduction

Samuel Beckett's ENDGAME is a text that has haunted me for many years.

One of the most influential early contacts I had with the theatre was a high-school

production of WAITING FOR GODOT which I saw when I was eleven years old. I

remember not understanding it at all, but not being able to dismiss it. Despite, or

perhaps because of, my lack of comprehension, the experience has left an indelible

mark on me. This has lead to me being sensitized not only to Godot but to the

name Samuel Beckett.

Shortly after the dismantling of the Berlin wall there was an article in the

New York Timessuggesting that now that the Cold War was over, Beckett's world

was irrelevant; that the tension and desolation of Beckett's landscape was a direct

result of the threat of nuclear annihilation. The article infuriated me. Aside from

the rose colored politics, the idea that Beckett's insights into the human condition

only had value within the context of a threat of atomic war, was deeply offensive to

me. It was clear to me that Beckett had hit upon something that I felt was

fundamental to the way I saw the plight of humanity. I developed a strong desire to

explore the universal legitimacy and import of Beckett's sensibility.

My direct contact with ENDGAME began when I was a member of the

Suzuki Company Of Toga. For Tadashi Suzuki the Hamm/Clov relationship was

an archetype of tremendous power. He found it, and exploited it in everything

from Lear and the Fool on the heath, to Ivanov and the doctor.1

Of particular note was the strong relationship between the Hamm - Clov

relationship and the Reverend Father/Mother - Attendant relationship, which

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