Arden Theatre presents “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead,” a comedy featuring characters originally introduced in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”
The production, written by famous playwright Tom Stoppard, incorporates all the main roles from “Hamlet” including Queen Gertrude, King Claudius, Ophelia and of course, Hamlet.
However, unlike Shakespeare’s original play, “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead” is not performed in old English. This makes it easy to follow and even easier to enjoy.
Although it is only a company production, the two title characters pull off the show superbly.
The show is directed by Aaron Posner, co-founder and resident director of the Arden Theatre. During the 2001 season, Posner acted as a guest director for Temple Theater’s “Ring Round the Moon.”
The staging of the play is simple, but is also an important role since the characters are often frustrated by their unexciting surroundings.
Though the props do not change, the audience easily follows the plot from the streets of Elsinore to a boat bound for England.
The actors make the most of the stage resulting in a believable and entertaining storyline.
The play was performed on the F. Otto Haas Stage. Although the theater was considerably large, the actor’s playfulness continually lead them to acknowledge the audience. At one point, they even jumped down off the stage and took seats among the viewers.
The intimacy that can only be achieved at a live performance is a nice change from spending two hours in front of a distant movie screen.
The Arden Theatre is a professional theater located in the heart of Old City. Many successful plays have been produced by the Arden Theatre Company since its start in 1988.
Voted “2002 Theatre Company of the Year” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, their current production does not disappoint.
“Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” runs through Nov. 9. For show times and ticket information, contact the Arden Box Office at (215) 922-1122 or visit https://www.ardentheatre.org/.
Arden Theatre is located at 40 N. 2nd St.
Michelle NicolettoJosephine Munis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org