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on 8 May 2017
The play juggles reality and ideas, the philosophy of chance and purpose, memory and memory, and death the end of all.
And does it matter in life if no one is watching, like a play with no audience?
Does role-play ever end, except in death?

The play is intriguing and entertaining, and it is useful to read the parts that you didn't quite catch, and the beginning which you might have forgotten.
It is not as good as seeing the play. But on another day I might think differently, when the performance is dimmed in my memory and the book is fresh.
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on 22 May 2017
Still remarkably fresh, entertaining and thought provoking.
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on 13 April 2017
Amazing use of language full of wit. The gags keep coming and the references to Shakespeare are brilliant. One of the best plays of the 20th century
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on 5 August 2017
on time and great quality
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on 3 January 2017
I really love this play, I think it sparked my obsession with Hamlet.
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on 12 June 2009
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead is an intriguing exercise in the theatre of the absurd. It is comic, touchingly focussed on the two characters (although we can assume they are actually very much a single thing) and also serious, poetic and brilliant. Nowhere else in Stoppard's work or in a great deal of texts is there such a gloriously successful mix of the absurd and the sensitive; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's meditations on life, death, drama, existentialism and Hamlet are for the most part excellent pieces of writing on their own. To have them within the framework of this readable and ultimately very funny piece of drama just confirms my belief that Tom Stoppard is one of the most important and underrated writers we have.
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on 15 August 2016
Simply amazing. A must-read!
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2003
This play is often compared to "Waiting For Godot", most unfairly in my view, as Stoppard's early masterpiece is, above all else, brilliantly funny. Not in the way of an ironic, navel-gazing comedy about the horror of life, but in the way that makes the audience laugh out loud with genuine laughter.
Actually, of course, it IS about the horror of life, and of modern life at that, many of the greatest comedies have a tragic undercurrent, think of Sir Toby's "Chimes at midnight" speech giving texture and shadow to the sunny japes of "Twelfth Night", or of Woody Allen's best films, hovering over the line of comedy and neurotic bathos ("The Purple Rose of Cairo"..."Radio Days".)
Here, the early speech about a man who sees a unicorn sets a tone of lonely wistfulness that the blatant failures of the protagonists to match up to the epic events unfolding around them, obvious even to the duo themselves, continues throughout the play.
An odd effect of seeing only snippets of "Hamlet" is to make that work seem a real action packed epic. In reality, perhaps, "Hamlet" itself is very similar to "Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead", the heroes of both prove in the end, despite endless talking and dithering, indecisive and inadequate.
Stoppard's work is an updating of Shakespeare's, and a comment on the modern world, in that his heroes are not given the redeeming power of poetry. For them, the unicorn is always a deer...with an arrow in its head....
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on 17 February 2007
If you know your HAMLET and you know your WAITING FOR GODOT, this will be one of the most engaging pieces of theatre you have ever seen or read. It is simply a sensational bit of writing: funny, erudite, challenging, obtuse etc etc. If however you dont know those two other texts, then you're in trouble. As I was, the first time I saw this.
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VINE VOICEon 9 July 2013
Screen plays serve several purposes; when the follow the film closely you get to slowdown and have time to savor the nuances. They also work as an external memory so you can revisit your favorite parts of the story. I could not tell my shoe was untied unless it was pointed out. I use screen plays to point out what I may have overlooked in a moment of contemplation.

This particular book also has a few black & white stills.

The scene closes in on Rosencrantz & Guildenstern or is it Guildenstern & Rosencrantz discussing the odds of a flipped coin coming up heads. What seems to be a casual curiosity is the setting for the eventual outcome of the story. If the names sound familiar then you will recognize them from the play "Hamlet". Their story was never fully told until now.

Through out the film we get snippets of Hamlet and visions of what is to come. The real fun is in the fact that the dialog and the actors could have easily been seamlessly slipped into the original play.

Their play on words not only matches Shakespeare but a good dose of Lewis Carroll; "Toes on the other hand"," Don't you mean the other foot?"

Disperses through the story Rosencrantz (Gary Oldman) makes all the great discoveries from gravity to flight to steam engines and so forth. Every time he goes to show them to Guildenstern (Tim Roth) they are overlooked, or dismissed.

The only person that was a tad over the top, acting like he was acting wad Richard Dreyfuss as the leader of the acting troop. However this is one movie that you can get away with it.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
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