The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Yattekita Godot (Godot Has Come)
Yattekita Godot (Godot Has Come)
"Kiyama Theater Productions" production
Yattekita Godot (Godot Has Come)
(Mar. 24-31, 2007 at Haiyuza Theater)
Written by Minoru Betsuyaku
Directed by Toshifumi Sueki
Photo: Teruo Tsuruta
Premiere: 2007
Length: 1 hr. 40 min.
Acts, scenes: One act, 2 scenes
Cast: 10 (6 man, 4 woman)
Japanese Drama Database
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Yattekita Godot (Godot Has Come) by Minoru Betsuyaku 
This play is a latter-day reworking of the theme and setting of the world famous play Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett’s representative work of the genre known as drama of the absurd.

The set for this play consists of no more than a single telephone pole towards the front of the stage and a bench and bus stop sign toward the back. The setting is at dusk.
The characters Vladimir and Estragon are still passing their time with meaningless little exchanges as they wait for Godot.
Of course the pair of Lucky, with the rope round his neck, and Pozzo holding its other end make their appearance and converse in exchanges that have little meaning other than to reinforce the master-servant relationship—although their presentation is considerably more comic than in the Original Godot.
Woman 1 appears on stage with her hands engaged in her knitting, and it appears that she is the mother of Estragon parted with some 30 years earlier. She has come in search of her son guided only by a letter she received from him.
Next Woman 4 makes her appearance pushing a baby buggy in search of her baby’s father, Vladimir.
Amidst this confusion, Godot appears on stage carrying a trunk and an umbrella.
He says, “I am Godot. ” But everyone is too absorbed in their own affairs to pay him any heed.
Both Estragon and Vladimir are too busy being terribly perplexed, the former by the fact that this woman who has suddenly appeared may be his mother, and the latter by the fact that this child may be his son.
In the course numerous entrances and exits for various unclear reasons and repeated failures to meet in the right place at the right time, Woman 1 and Woman 4 and Estragon and Vladimir are never able to verify their mutual relationships.
And, in the three times that Godot encounters Estragon and Vladimir during the course of the play, pronouncing each time that “I am Godot, ” they are unable to internalize and “experience” the fact that Godot has indeed finally come, even though they are aware of the arrival on the surface. They only repeat hastily, “Yes, we know that you are Godot, and that you have come. ”
It is as if to say that fifty years after the original Waiting for Godot exposed the inherent emptiness of the act of “waiting, ” we are in a time when the conditions of our lives shut even “waiting” away in the realm of the meaningless.

Profile: Born: 1937
Born in 1937 in the former Manchuria (present northeast China), Minoru Betsuyaku is a playwright, novelist and essayist. He attended Waseda University and studied in the Political Science and Economics department but ended his studies before graduation. Influenced by Beckett’s theater of the absurd, Betsuyaku formed the Waseda Small Theater with director Tadashi Suzuki. His play The Elephant (1962) drew critical attention and he went on to win the 13th “New Theater” Kishida Kunio Drama Award for his plays The Little Match Girl (1966) and A Scene With a Red Bird (1967). In 1971 he won the Kinokuniya Theater Award for Machi to Hikosen (a town and a blimp) and Alice in Wonderland. The following year he won the “New Artist” award of the Ministry of Education’s Selected Artists Encouragement Awards for Soyosoyo Kazoku no Hanran (revolt of a gentle family), and in 1987 he won the Yomiuri Literature Award for his collection of plays titled Shokoku wo Henreki Suru Futari no Kishi no Monogatari (tale of the foreign travels of two knights). In 1988, his play Giovanni no Chichi e no Tabi (Giovanni’s journey to his father) won the Minister of Education Award for the Arts. In 2007 Betsuyaku wrote his 130th play. Besides plays and children’s stories, Betsuyaku is known for his humorous essays like Mushi-zukushi (a world of full of bugs) that overturns biological commonsense and Mononoke-zukushi (a world full of ghosts), which comments on the true nature of ghost in ancient and present-day Japan. With other books of this –zukushi series including Kemono-zukushi, Tori-zukushi and Sakana-zukushi, he won a name for himself as a nonsense genre writer. Another work that shows the breath of Betsuyaku’s creative and intellectual interests is his criminology essay Hanzai Shokogun (criminal syndrome) in which he analyzes the darker mechanisms at work behind sensational crimes with an astute eye.