I saw Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead starring Jamie Parker and Samuel Barnett at the Theatre Royal Haymarket tonight. (It has been - and will continue to be - a week of excellence, and of treating myself. I am giddy with excitement over the concert tomorrow! And then I think I will go to the Canada Day celebrations on Friday.) I am probably going to see it again. It was incredible.
My favourite History Boys (Pos & Scripps for those who don’t recognise the actors’ names) in my favourite play by my favourite playwright. The culmination of so much that meant everything to me in my high school days, the development of my literary loves and tastes. And, just, not only was it so good - I have seen Parker on stage before, at the Globe as Prince Hal, so I knew going into it that he’d be amazing, but his Guildenstern is perfect, radiating helpless confusion compounded by his startling intellect. And Barnett’s Rosencrantz is oblivious but also perfectly arch and occasionally withering with scorn, in a way people who know the film probably wouldn’t be expecting, but which works very well indeed. And that’s just the two leads - the Player & his men, Hamlet, the costume designs, the direction, the stage design (oh god, the stage design) - all of it is so good.
And this is rambly and gushy and emotional and uncritical and probably pretty mushy because I just got home and haven’t had time to think it through and I came into this production with an already strong love of the play and its leads, and I will take the time and effort to write a proper review later. But for now I just wanted a record of the glowy feeling I came out of the theatre into the warm London night with, because I have been very very sad these past few weeks, and I’ve spent this week using art as a healing balm, and I laughed a lot tonight, but I was also touched, and challenged. Because this play (and it has since I was 13), and now this production, means a lot to me.