Hamm is blind and unable to stand; Clov, his servant, is unable to sit; Nagg and Nell are his father and mother, who are legless and live in dustbins. Together they live in a room with two windows, but there may be nothing at all outside.
The first line trades off of Macbeth: "When did we three meet last?" But her companion will have none of that: "Let us not speak."
Three women occupy a park bench. One by one they leave, strolling into the opaque darkness at the edge of the stage, and come back. As each vanishes, her two friends share a secret. At the end they join hands "in the old way," and the sudden, smooth unity between the three shadowy characters can make your neck-hairs stand straight up.
The essence of Beckettian minimalism, this extraordinarily rich "dramaticule" consists of about a hundred and thirty words, surrounded by long, opulent silences. It's an almost blank slate and it's magnificent. Peter Brook classified Beckett's work as "Holy Theater" -- that which strives to make the invisible visible -- and of all the showy adaptations in the Beckett on Film series, this simply staged eight-minute ceremony best supports Brook's notion. To be watched and rewatched.
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