Alastair Love (left) and Robert Fulton get snowed under.
For their production of Waiting For Godot, director Ryan Seeley and scenographer/producer Jonathan Hirsh choose a World War II setting and add a late-1970s post-punk soundtrack.
They call their version reimagined, but it's more like a muddled theatre school experiment gone awry.
In Samuel Beckett's influential play, two hoboes, Vladimir and Estragon, wait on a nearly bare stage for Godot. In the course of their futile vigil, they encounter the cruel and pompous Pozzo and his beleaguered slave Lucky, and then a boy. This event recurs in the second act, with a few variations.
Seeley and Hirsh beautify the characters' stark world. Fluffy white snow blankets the ground, Estragon wears a trim khaki pilot's uniform, and Vladimir looks spiffy in black. (The prostate-troubled man's pants don't even have a proper fly to facilitate the text's bawdy bathroom references.)
Seeley has ignored one of Beckett's few stage directions, to dress the men in bowlers, instead selecting various other hats.
In fact, this overly serious production eliminates most references to the play's vaudevillian humour, rendering it virtually laugh-free.
Turning Pozzo into a swastika-wearing Nazi and Lucky into a Jew with a yellow star on his lapel only works on the most superficial level, since unlike the Nazis and Jews, Lucky and Pozzo are co-dependent. Setting it all to the dronings of Joy Division (a band with reported neo-Nazi leanings), including a full song to lull Estragon to sleep in the second act, makes it even more ridiculous.
The actors try to rise above all this, particularly Robert Fulton as Estragon and Marc Richler as Lucky, who manages to extricate some meaning from his monologue even while delivering it in a vaguely Eastern European accent.
Hopefully, Seeley has better luck performing Daniel MacIvor's play House, which runs in rep with the Beckett.
But if you're looking for a definitive or insightful production of Godot, keep waiting.