So I had the pleasure of seeing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, as a live feed from the Tyneside Cinema on the 26th April. The performance staring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire, was being taking place in the Old Vic Theatre in London.
I did not know what to expect from the play so I was watching the play with an open mind.
Plot, Characters and Script
The plot to this play was slow to start at first so the first act was just introducing us to the characters. It was not until the second act where we got a better idea of the two main characters roles in the screen play. So naturally, I found myself a little bored in the first half as there was little to follow, this however improved as the play went on.
The opening of the show introduced us to our two main characters – Rosencrantz as Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire as Guildenstern. They were amusing themselves with a coin flipping game, in which Rosencrantz had landed 90 heads in a row. Whether this was genuine or just double sided coins, I was not sure.
Rosencrantz – Daniel Radcliffe (right) and Joshua McGuire – Guildenstern (left)
This was an intellectual introduction and as the script went on, I found myself having to concentrate harder into what they were talking about. Topics such as death, complex probability – a lot of it went over my head, but it showed how clever these two characters were.
I also found their relationship throughout the play very similar to two brothers. Their bond allowed them to be open with each other with conflicting opinions, yet still get on. They are bit like bread and butter – they go very well together and make each other better.
This play was directed by Katie Moore and based on a script play by Tom Stoppard, who had the opportunity to sit in the audience. This definitely would have added some adrenaline for the actors, as they were performing in front of the play write himself.
Even with the script being very intellectual, there were still a lot of humorous one liners. Viewers (including myself) were laughing throughout the play by Radcliffe and McGuire’s witty comebacks. One being very focused on the direction of the wind, which became a repetitive joke up until the end.
Costumes and Set
Something that did stand out for me was the costumes – all over the top and extremely realistic. One of these costumes belonged to the main player in a band (played by David Haig) who was a big burst of sound, energy and enthusiasm! His costume was vintage like those worn by Radcliffe and McGuire but more colourful with bursts of red.
Main player – David Haig (right front) with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (both left)
However the best costume of all, in my opinion was worn by Alfred (played by Matthew Durkan). He was half naked in the first act, however changed into a vintage dress with a ruff collar and a white powdered face in the second act. He looked as fantastic as the female actors on the stage.
The set contrasted to the costumes and was very minimal, including two chairs randomly spaced out, two backpacks and a ladder. The stage was opened up into space normally used behind the wings to give the actors a lot more space to work with. This also made them look very small on the stage when they were in solo scenes.
The play was a pleasure to see, even if I saw it on a live feed. The acting was exquisite and passionate and I thoroughly enjoyed it by the end, despite the complex script and slow plot.
If you have any comments, please let me know!
Bye guys 🙂