Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

In Hamlet they are what they are, Stoppard writes the abstract and brief chronicles of their time.

The off-putting prologue, which encompasses the coin trick and the introduction of the players, transfers any and all responsibility to the experienced pros, much as Hitchcock does at the start of Rebecca, and so in this instance looks as though it were directed by Michael Eisner, who it will be remembered once said a director was a small coin in the studio Coke machine.

The two courtiers have bits of playscript, text anyway, all about them passim, the players even act out Hamlet for them in dumbshow (“Do you know this play?”), with two nobodies hanged at the end like our heroes, who are not alas literary types at all and know nothing whatsoever beyond their lines, all of which are delivered expertly.

Golden Lion in Venice.