Daniel Radcliffe continues to build his career post-Potter and is back at The Old Vic – following his 2017 success as Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz – in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.

The 1957 play – a textbook study in existential angst – was a precursor, in its carefully planned absurdity, to Stoppard’s first big ‘hit’.

Radcliffe gives his best performance to date, even if he’s too young, at 30, for the role of the much-put-upon servant Clov as usually seen.

From his opening ascents and descents of the play’s famous step-ladder, linking to two high windows in the minimalist set (designer Stewart Laing), it is evident he’s a very fit chap. This is despite his character’s observably being in great pain with his feet.

Involved in what is clearly a love/hate relationship with his demanding master, the blind Hamm, he suffers endless domestic tyrannies in stoic, if obviously resentful, fashion, repaying them when he can.

Scottish-American actor Alan Cumming is a wonderfully watchable Hamm, the hammy nature of his performance indicating belief in a name well chosen.

Cumming does camp very well – he won a Tony in 1998 for his Broadway turn as Cabaret’s Emcee – and he comes across here as a hybrid of Kenneth Williams and the fruity-toned Sir Donald Wolfit.

Also on stage are Hamm’s parents Nagg and Nell (Karl Johnson and Jane Horrocks, barely recognisable in her acquired mantle of old age). Their tender reflections on life and love are delivered from wheelie bins rather than the traditional trash cans. I was surprised the all-controlling Beckett estate permitted this.

Though sad in tone, the play (director Richard Jones) is sometimes very funny.

A pity the same cannot be said of the 30-minute Beckett rarity, Rough for Theatre II, that precedes it, with Radcliffe and Cumming as a pair of clerks examining the life of a man (Jackson Milner) about to leap from a window. Pretty pointless.

Until March 28. (0344 871 7628, oldvictheatre.com)