The Italian Almanac

Waiting for Godot

Italian News - February 2

A Rome court has ruled that men have no monopoly over Waiting for Godot, dismissing objections to the use of actresses in an Italian production of the play. In November lawyers representing the heirs of Waiting for Godot writer Samuel Beckett took out an injunction against a show in the Tuscan town of Pontedera, near Pisa.

The heirs claimed that the Nobel Literature Prize winner, who always exercised tight control over interpretations of his work, would have been unhappy at the use of women in the roles of Vladimir and Estragon. The Teatro di Pontedera company, which cast sisters Luisa and Silvia Pasello in the two male parts, ignored the injunction.

This week the court said it was right to do so and is free to continue performing its version of the play. "The text is used in its entirety and is faithfully put on show, following Beckett's stage directions down to the tiniest details," said director Roberto Bacci. "The characters of Vladimir and Estragon remain totally male, even though they are played by women.

The company's lawyer Maurizio Frittelli hailed the ruling as a victory for civil liberties.