It was the play that made up-and-coming young playwright Tom Stoppard into a household name, now widely heralded as 'greatest living playwright' and the Shakespeare of our generation.
Though many dismiss Fan Fiction as the domain of overzealous teens living out boy-band fantasies via online fan forums, this play is essentially Hamlet fan fic. Tom Stoppard took a well-known story and created a new masterpiece, told from a different perspective, shaped but not confined by the original plot.
Taking its title from a line in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a meta-theatrical, textually reflective inverse of Shakespeare's tragedy. Two minor characters, courtiers and longtime pals of the prince Rosencrantz (Radcliffe) and Guildenstern (McGuire), take the spotlight, while Hamlet, Gertrude and co are inconsequential bit parts.
With a bleak, absurdist stand of comedy and rich literary base of reference, the play crystallises the intellectual themes for which Stoppard is now renowned. The result is a sharp, probing mind-bender of a play, which unravels into an identity crisis - and we look forward to seeing how this landmark 50th anniversary production chimes with contemporary audiences.
Certainly the starry casting and under-25 £12 ticket scheme will be enough to draw a broad audience and we have high expectations for Daniel Radcliffe as Rosencrantz.
Despite the burden of being The Boy Who Lived, he has graduated from Hogwarts to become a thoughtful and discerning actor, eschewing blockbusters for more demanding and eclectic projects. His previous West End appearances in Equus and The Cripple of Inishmaan were as challenging as they were accomplished.
The other half of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern double act will be made up of Joshua McGuire, the breakout star of the Donmar's production of Privacy, who has also impressed in Posh on the West End and playing Hamlet at the Globe.
Public booking for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the Old Vic opens at 12 noon on Wednesday 2 November 2016.
|What||Tom Stoppard revival: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Old Vic Theatre|
The Old Vic
The Cut, London, SE1 8NB | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
25 Feb 17 – 29 Apr 17, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£12 - £65|
|Website||Click here to book via Culture Whisper and See Tickets|