“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” – Player King
There is certain skill to producing a laugh out loud comedy from a play that fixates on death – after all, the play’s very existence stems from the titular characters’ disappearance from Hamlet initially. We are led to question fate, chance, free will and, in the context of the play, what is left for characters that have a destiny pre-ordained for them. In Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern don’t survive, but could it be different here? What story is left for them to write in a play where we all know the ending? Can they change their story with chance? And ultimately, if we all die, does it even matter? With this play, Stoppard shows that it does.
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