Thursday 20 April 2017

Review: Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

NT Live broadcast from The Old Vic Tom Stoppard's play Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in cinemas around the country on the 20th of April 2017. Daniel Radcliff and Joshua McGuire are two minor characters from Hamlet who are barely able to understand their part in the action. Through them we see the story of Hamlet, sometimes seep in, sometimes sneak in and sometimes explode onto the stage in bizarre situations and comic scenes.

NT Live: Why?

If bringing theatre to the masses is the remit, NT Live has succeeded as far as I'm concerned. NT Live has certainly meant that I have been able to experience more live theatre. For the price of a cinema ticket I am able to go to my local cinema and see a West End play. And if I appreciate this, not just from the perspective of cost but because it takes me 20 minutes to go to the cinema but up to two hours to get to the theatre, then I would imagine those who don't live in London appreciate it even more.

The Play

Tom Stoppard's play on reading it, promises surreal comedy which is hard sometimes to elicit from the page. On the stage however, in the hands of Radcliff and McGuire we see what it was all about.  The ridiculous antics of the comic pairing is laugh out loud funny. Laurel and Hardy. The two Ronnies. Fry and Laurie. Whatever era you remember best. A brilliant mixture of slapstick, wit and social commentary. David Haig is the icing on the theatrical cake.

West India Quay Cineworld

One consideration with regard to cinema screening is that 2 out of the last 5 productions at the West India Quay cinema have had technical hitches, losing sound on one occasion and at this screening losing the correct aspect ratio. Radcliff and McGuire with distorted proportions, looked like hobbits with short torsos and long feet and when they stretched out a hand or arm seemed to reach to the other side of the stage which luckily added to the comic effect and only for the first twenty minutes.

Next Screening?

Jude Law in Obsession, live from the Barbican Theatre on May 11th.  

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