Saturday, 1 April 2017

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Probably)

I've seen Hamlet 5 or 6 times (most recently a week before this show) but I've never seen Tom Stoppard's 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead', but a friend is a huge fan of the play, so when I saw that it was going to be performed at the Old Vic (50 years on from its premiere there) I suggested that she and I get tickets and I could see what all the fuss is about.

I'm glad I did.

We started by meeting up for lunch and cocktails, at 'The Cut', the restaurant at the Young Vic, which were awesome. good food, good booze, and good company!.

We then headed over to the Old Vic, for the play.

In this production, Daniel Radcliffe plays Rosencrantz, (well, probably) and Joshua McGuire, Guildenstern (most likely), with David Haig as the Player, who steals every scene he is in, with great skill and good humour.

The partnership of McGuire and Radcliffe works really well. McGuire's character is the more showy role, with Radcliffe as the quieter, more troubled half of the duo.

Its a lot of fun as they wander, confused, behind the scenes of 'Hamlet', unsure of who they are, what they are doing "were we sent for?"  and what is happening, riffing off philosophical ideas as they go. It reminded me a little of 'Waiting for Godot'.

Luke Mullins' Hamlet, seen only briefly, came across as supercilious and not even a little mad, and, frankly, not one to be missed upon his demise. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's puzzled distress when they learned of his betrayal of them was particularly poignant.

A very enjoyable production. See it if you can. 

The play is at the Old Vic until 6th May, and is also going to be broadcast via NTLive

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