National Theatre Live
Playwright Tom Stoppard,
Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire as R and G, witha stellar performance by an actor whose name we canno remember or find as The Player King.
I remember seeing this play when I was in university in the late sixties, but the title was more memorable than the play. As it had it’s first production in England in the early, mid sixties, it is surprising that university productions were able to get the rights. But then perhaps they did not bother with such niceties!
And I cannot imagine that I could have made anything out of the play at the time. I had never seen and possibly never read, Hamlet. As a French literature major, I had heard of Beckett and even studied En Attendant Godot, but never seen a performance. Without the background of those two plays, what could I have made of that university production? Not much, although I seem to recall enjoying it.
Now that I am much older and much better educated and experienced in the theatrical world, I completely loved the National Theatre Live presentation of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. The two actors were charmingly naive, waiting for someone to tell them what to do and to explain what is going on. Of course, no one ever does and they are left to wonder and wander aimlessly around the stage.
Stoppaard has a way of making you feel tremendously uneducated. (See earlier comments on Travesties). His plays are simple on the surface, but filled with allusions to literature, history and the world around. At least with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern I felt I had a chance!