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Best of '09

What was the most memorable arts event of 2009? Were you blown away by Enron at the Royal Court? Did you love Lily Allen at Glastonbury? Was Antony Gormley's Fourth Plinth the defining cultural moment of the year? Or perhaps it was an unheralded gig or play in your local theatre which stole the show?

Here, Independent writers name some of their favourite cultural moments of the year.

In the comments form below or via email to arts@independent.co.uk nominate your favourite - in film, music, theatre, comedy, dance or visual arts - with a brief explanation as to why it tops your list and we'll print a selection in The Independent Readers' Review of 2009.
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Even though I had never seen or read the play, the reputation of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot held a fascination for me. I was aware of its importance as a meditation on the human experience, in which, famously, "nothing happens twice". I felt that it was something I should see, and the production at the Royal Haymarket, in which the centre-piece was a double act between Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, was just too good to miss.

The two great actors did work wonderfully together as a pair of tramps who, with their bickering and ancient familiarity, resembled an old married couple. Against Vladimir and Estragon’s tragicomic partnership is set the darker, master-slave relationship of Pozzo and Lucky. Godot is a fearsomely complicated play to perform, and one got the sense that the four actors were professionals performing a difficult job well and enjoying it.

As well as the comedy, the actors managed to bring across the tragedy of their situation. McKellen’s Estragon, in particular, could be touchingly pathetic at times. However, I sometimes felt that the actors were almost enjoying the lighter side of the play too much. McKellen and Stewart could play off each other and the audience so brilliantly that they sometimes obscured the central message of a play which is, at its heart, deeply sad.

Tell us your favourite cultural moments of the year in the comments form below or email them to arts@independent.co.uk. We'll print the best in the paper.


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