Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


Opening Night REVIEW: Adapted from the Directors Notes from Thomas R. Gorden

If someone were to ask me “What is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern all about?” I would say “It’s not really about Hamlet or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern”. It could be called “Alfred, Polonius, Player King, Soldier and Horatio Are Alive” which are the characters played by David Meyers and who imbued each with a convincing motive and a slight boyish charm making him relatable and charming.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s situation parallels that of the video game Super Mario because in it, Mario will always die trying to save Princess Peach from Bowser. If a player is skilled enough he can save the princess temporarily and move onto the next level but like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Mario must ultimately die. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s dilemma is more existential because they aren’t always sure of themselves, so they avoid meaningful connection to the events just outside of themselves. But alas forsooth, this play will not feature any Marios and that’s too bad because even a dead Mario might have provided some much needed comic relief to balance out so much serious script reading.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are doomed to the same fate every night the show is performed because that’s what the script says will happen. Pondering life’s great questions, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern make way for more sultry moments with the stunning Ophelia, a funny and over the top sex scene with Claudius and a very moody (in a good way) Hamlet who once in a suit resembles Michael C. Hall from the series Dexter (again, in a good way).

By Raymond Helkio

Raymond Helkio is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design, whose work has been shown at international film, theatre, and design festivals including Inside Out Film Festival, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Design Exchange, Videofag, Art Gallery of Ontario, Glad Day Bookshop, Artscape and Nuit Rose.

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