Friday, 21 April 2017

within un-, sub- or supernatural forces of the love, blood, and rhetorical exchange


{Heads} We watched the terrific NT Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire and David Haig performance of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead yesterday evening. {Heads} This is the excellent Old Vic production by David Leveaux.

For anyone who doesn't know the story, it is a kind of meta-play, which zeroes in on two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In Hamlet they are Hamlet's school buddies and, on orders, attempt to take Hamlet to England.

Stoppard takes the characters, who are mostly at rest in the real Hamlet play, and assumes instead that they have thoughts on the pages where they do not feature. He also gives them the opportunity to try to work out what is happening, albeit from their position of very little knowledge.

It's a hoot with whip crack lines between the two characters, chunks of Shakespeare dropped into the proceedings and David Haig's The Player appearing with his motley ensemble to wreak further havoc.

I couldn't help but think of another recent situation where, as a player, I still see only a sliver of what is happening. We've been doing a house conveyancing exchange of contracts over the last few days.

Across the years I've done this a fair few times and it has generally all happened on the due date.

Not this time, where both upstream and downstream there have been hiccups which have caused the whole thing to reset. Literally to the start. Each time. We finally achieved the exchange on about the sixth attempt, although I can't help wonder if someone had been attempting a Hamlet letter swap somewhere in the process and without our knowledge.

Although as opaque as R & G's knowledge of Hamlet from back-stage, it seems to have ended well for us.

Famously less so for R & G who were summarily executed off-stage by Shakespeare in the original Hamlet.

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