BEYOND THE STAGE with Gare St Lazare Ireland: “Waiting for Godot”


Gary Lydon (Vladimir) and Conor Lovett (Estragon).

On a country road, two friends wait for a man named Godot to arrive. Their comical efforts to pass the time parody the human condition, and the everyday language of their exchanges takes on a universal significance.

Gare St Lazare Ireland ranks among the foremost interpreters of Beckett’s work and will be performing Waiting for Godot at NYU Skirball October 13-17. The company consists of joint artistic directors Judy Hegarty Lovett and Conor Lovett (who also plays Estragon in this production), and associate producer Maura O’Keeffe. They have produced over 17 Beckett titles for the stage and performed in over 25 countries across six continents to great international acclaim. 

Artist’s Website: Gare St Lazare Ireland

Playwright’s Website: Samuel Beckett

Review: Waiting For Godot (Total Theatre Magazine)
“Director Judy Hegarty Lovett has many productions of Beckett under her belt with this company, and it bears their trademark purity of vision and economy of movement.” — Lisa Wolfe, Dublin Theatre Festival 2013

Review: There’s Hope and Futility in Waiting For Godot (Broadway World/Boston)
“The wonderful trick of the Gare St Lazare Players of Ireland’s mesmerizing production of Samuel Beckett’s classic Waiting for Godot is that it inspires hope even as it suggests life is hopeless.” — November 10, 2013

Review: Waiting for Godot — Dramatizing the Residue of Resilience (The Arts Fuse)
“What the Gare St Lazare Players Ireland bring to the work is its distinct connection to Ireland, Beckett’s ancestral home, which he abandoned…Thanks to this production, moving glimpses of the Old Sod itself flicker through the emptiness.” — Robert Israel, November 3, 2013

Article: Celebrating 60 years of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot
Godot highlights what French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet called ‘being there’. It has little plot beyond the fact of waiting for Godot, and little on stage to distract the two tramps, Estragon and Vladimir (or the audience) from their waiting.” — Anna McMullan January 4, 2013

Article: When Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot he really didn’t know a lot about theatre
“As Waiting for Godot turns 60, Beckett expert Anna McMullan explains why the play still appeals” — Interview by Daisy Bowie-Sell January 5, 2013

Article: ‘Very Unpromising Material’: A Review for Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, From 1955. A review for Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot from when the play first opened in England, at the Arts Theater Club, London, in August 1955.

Video Clip

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A October 13th
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with Tom Bishop, Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director, Center for French Civilization and Culture at NYU, in conversation with artists from Gare St Lazare Ireland.

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A October 15th
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with Belinda McKeon, Irish novelist and playwright, in conversation with artists from Gare St Lazare Ireland.

Symposium October 16th, 2:00-6:00pm
Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”: A Symposium

Co-presented by NYU Skirball Center, Glucksman Ireland House at NYU, and Gare St Lazare Ireland. Free to the public. Please RSVP by emailing

Join us for a discussion with guests including Walter Asmus, Will Eno, Jonathan Kalb, Tom Cousineau, Conor Lovett and Judy Hegarty Lovett of Gare St Lazare Ireland, and more celebrated scholars in conversation about Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in performance, politics, and the classroom.

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A October 16th
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with John Waters, Clinical Assistant Professor of Irish Studies; Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Irish Studies at NYU, in conversation with artists from Gare St Lazare Ireland.

Skirball Student Insiders Get Physical with an Interactive Workshop with Magmanus


Skirball Student Insiders with Magmanus

A bunch of bright-eyed and eager Skirball Student Insiders joined contemporary circus performers, Magmanus, on a Saturday morning to learn what it really takes to make it in the circus.

Strength. It takes a great deal of strength in order to perform the stunts required in a typical show of ATTACHED. From lifting to squatting, Manu Tiger and Magnus Bjøru, the duo behind Magmanus, train smart in the gym in order to be in tip-top shape for performance. Circus demands a ton of upper body strength especially when Magnus has to balance Manu on his head time after time. Students took part in a fun and heart-pounding warm-up before having to carry each other across the room as quick as possible while being as quiet as possible.


Teamwork. There is definitely no I in TEAM when it comes to being a circus performer. Magnus and Manu work together and rely on one another in training and in performance. If one person for one second is out of sync then the whole act will suffer, and so does their safety. There are so many instances where something can go wrong or a trick may not land perfectly but as long as the performers are focused and working together they know they will be safe. Students here worked to lift and move each other around the space in a protected and safe way. This exercise allowed students to feel weightless in the air as they put their trust in the rest of the ensemble to safely move around.


Students work together to lift and move one another safely.


Trust. One of the most important lessons of the day was to build trust in the ensemble. Students were asked to engage in exercises that required them to place a lot of trust in the rest of the group. When Magmanus is doing high-risk tricks, such as when Magnus jumps onto a Teeterboard and sends Manu flying high in the sky and landing on a Velcro mat, they must trust in each other, their rehearsal, and that the equipment is set up properly in order for the trick to go smoothly. Students worked together to create a net formation as their peers were called one-by-one to fall backwards. First, off of a small step of stairs.


Then on a higher platform, a 2-foot box.


And finally the highest level, a 4-foot box.


Oh, we almost forgot! The most fundamental skill required of all circus performers, both novice and highly experienced, is…FUN! In order to make a circus performance truly enjoyable for both the artists and the audience the secret ingredient is to have fun. Strength, teamwork, trust, and fun. All in a days work of the dynamic due Magmanus and their fearless participants, the Skirball Student Insiders.


Take risks, be safe, and join the circus!