Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are known for their on-screen performances in a variety of blockbuster films (many of which they have played opposite of each other) like Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and the X-Men series. These two actors, however, got their start on the stage. And they have returned to the stage for two plays: Waiting for Godot (written by Samuel Beckett) and No Man’s Land (written by Harold Pinter).
Supporting Stewart and McKellen in both plays are Billy Crudup (well-known for his Almost Famous performance) and Shuler Hensley (Frankenstein’s monster in Van Helsing). Both plays focus on the “existential meaning of life”, yet Waiting for Godot isn’t as bleak as No Man’s Land. Both are “tragicomedies”, a drama that uses aspects of both tragedy and comedy.
No Man’s Land is about two older writers who meet at a London pub, where they drink and talk all night. Then, they go to the home of two younger men, and the real relationships between all four men are made clear.
In Waiting for Godot, two vagabond “clowns” wait for a mysterious Mr. Godot to arrive. Both men hope that Godot will improve their lives. Instead of Godot, however, two other men show up – one with a rope around his neck and being led by the other man.