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Endgame (plus "Rough For Theatre II")

Old Vic Theatre

The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB 0844 871 7628

Endgame poster
  • Synopsis
  • Theatremonkey show opinion
  • Reader reviews
  • Performance schedule
  • Ticket prices
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Ends 28th March 2020.
Audio Described performance: 16th March 2020 at 7.30pm
Captioned performance: 20th March 2020 at 7.30pm

Hamm is old and blind, with parents who live in a dustbin. Clov is his servant. Mutual dependance and disrespect combine...

Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe star.

Also performed: "Rough For Theatre II" about Two bureaucrats who confront a suicidal colleague. 



(seen at the afternoon performance on 15th February 2020)

Sometimes what seems brilliant in one era can dazzle considerably less in another. Sadly, this pairing is one such example. Not even the acting genius Alan Cumming can make the second in the pairing any less tedious or meaningful for today's monkey in the audience.

Re-winding, the first and far shorter piece, "Rough for Theatre II" at least poses an interesting question. As bureaucrats A and B review the life of C (about to jump), battle recalcitrant lamps and perform intricate choreography the monkey got to wondering... are the pair actually administrative angels, and has C been wrongly allocated - or just prefers to fall to the other place? It's enough to keep interesting for the 25 minutes it lasts.

If only "Endgame" were that concise. Selfish Hamm (Alan Cumming) has servant Clov (Daniel Radcliffe) on a whistle, with Hamm's parents Nagg (Karl Johnson) and Nell (Jane Horrocks) in a pair of dustbins in the orchestra pit. Hamm has Clov caring for him - wheeling him around even as Clov tries to get on with other tasks. Nagg and Nell woo a little, share a biscuit and Nagg is bribed to listen to a story, while Nell takes a more sensible approach to being in the play at all.

As a commentary on the confusion at the end of life it is passable, with the odd reasonable joke and some stiff but passable clowning from Radcliffe, a little pathos from both Johnson and Horrocks and another masterclass in stillness and vocal control from Cumming. Sadly, none of it reveals much depth in the way the first play did. It becomes repetitive and the monkey found itself wondering if audiences back then were either far more intellectual or simply scared of calling a play pretentious? It accepts it may well have missed the significance, despite the quality of the acting, but it's a failure if so anyway.

Richard Jones does his best with the material, Stewart Laing's costumes and set are simple and appropriate, Adam Silverman keeps the light as murky as the stage requires and Sarah Fahie deserves applause for ladder-work alone. Still, this has to be one restricted mostly to Beckett devotees, feels the monkey.




The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm


Runs 2 hours 10 minutes approximately, including one interval.

Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

Rows C to R: £65 except:
"Premium Seats" rows G 13 to 22; H 12 to 15, 24, 25; J 14, 15, 22 to 25; K 14 to 23; L 15 to 26; M 15 to 26; N 17 to 26; P 14 to 25; Q 13 to 22: £90
"Premium Package Seats" row H 16 to 23, J 16 to 21 : £125
"Restricted View" seats P 5, Q 3 and 35: £20
Rows S and T (except "Restricted View" seat T 6): £55
"Restricted View" seat T 6: £40
Rows U and V: £40 except
Row U 13 to 15: £55
"Restricted View" seat U32 and V6: £30
"Restricted View" seats U 8 and 33: £20

Dress Circle:
Rows A to C: £65 except
"Premium Package Seats" row A 16 to 19: £125
"Premium Seats" row A 12 to 15, 20 to 22: £90
"Restricted View" seats row A 7, 28, 29; B 7, 8, 9, 28, 29, 30; C 16, 27, 29 to 32: £40
Rows D and E: £55 except
"Restricted View" seat D 25: £30
"Restricted View" seats row D 9, 10, 18, 26; E 10, 11, 18, 19, 27, 28, 34: £20
Row X 15 to 22; Y 14 to 23; Z 16 to 21: £55
Row X 3 to 14 and 23 to 33; Y 10 to 13 and 24 to 27: £30
Row Y 1 to 8 and 28 to 36: £20

Upper Circle:
Rows A to E: £30 except
Row B 12 to 25; C 14 to 24: £40 "Restricted View" seats A 3 to 11 and 31 to 33; B 2, 3, 34, 35, 36: £20
Rows F to H: £20
Rows X and P: £12

Standing: £8.50


"Rush Tickets:" App Todaytix are offering £25 "Rush tickets," located at venue discretion, for all performances. Released for the performance on that day, first-come, first-served. Download the App from Todaytix, unlock the "Rush Ticketing" feature by sharing on Facebook or Twitter, and that will allow you to buy tickets. This venue applies "dynamic pricing" to reduce or increase the price of some seats nearer the performance time.



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