Tim Curry will play the Player King in a new Trevor Nunn-directed production of the play by Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead that will transfer to the Haymarket, beginning performances June 16 for a run through Aug. 20, after opening as part of the previously announced season at Chichester Festival's Minerva Theatre, where it will play May 20-June 11. Joining Tim Curry are Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker.
Stoppard’s existential comedy turns the spotlight onto the apparently inconsequential experiences of the two minor courtiers in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are by turn comic, tragic and philosophical as they try to make sense of the pointless and arbitrary nature of their own existence. The action of Stoppard's play takes place mainly 'in the wings' of Shakespeare's play, with brief appearances of major characters from Hamlet who enact fragments of the original's scenes. Between these episodes the two protagonists voice their confusion at the progress of events of which—occurring onstage without them in Hamlet—they have no direct knowledge.
Premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1966 before being picked up by the National Theatre and then given its London premiere at the Old Vic (where the National was then based), Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead was Stoppard’s first major success.
Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker also had their breakthroughs at the National, starring as Posner and Scripps in the NT’s 2004 premiere of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, roles they went on to reprise on Broadway, on tour and on screen in NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner’s 2006 film.
[posted by Louise, 29/03/2011]