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.
This production, directed by Trevor Nunn, opened first at this summer’s Chichester Festival, and has now transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket as part of Nunn’s current year-long residency there. Tim Curry, who was set to play the role of The Player (head of the theatrical troupe in Hamlet) withdrew due to illness during previews at Chichester, and has been replaced through both runs by his understudy Chris Andrew Mellon.
Following the performance, we were joined by Barnett and Parker as well as Mellon for a post-show Q&A, hosted by Whatsonstage.com's Terri Paddock, which was as funny as it was insightful. Highlights from this discussion included revelations about Barnett and Parker auditioned for their roles as a pair and new dad Parker's wife's water breaking during previews while Mellon shared the difficulties of taking over from Curry and rehearsing in front of full houses. All three also expressed their pleasure at working with Nunn and his dynamism and enthusiasm as a director.
To listen to the full recording of the Q&A, click the 'play' button below; or to subscribe and download from iTunes, click here.