Haymarket Theatre - Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead - Archive

Rosencranz & Guildenstern Icon
Haymarket Theatre
Haymarket SW1Y 4HT
Rosencranz and Guildenstern
are Dead

Haymarket Theatre location mapMap ©Silvermaze Ltd 2008

Photo ©Tony Reading 2008

Show Details
Preview 16th Jun 11
Opens 21st Jun 11
Closes 20th Aug 11
Show Times
Monday - Saturday 7.30 pm
Matinée Thurday & Saturday 2.30 pm

Local Info
Top Class restaurants nearby;

St Alban's (Mediterranean)
Rex House
4 - 12 Regent St 
020 7499 8558

Brumus (European)
The Haymarket Hotel
1 Suffolk Place
020 7470 4000

Mint Leaf (Indian)
4 Suffolk Place
020 7930 9020
Book Now Great Hotel Deals
Click the link above to book online or telephone the actual theatre box office direct on 0845 481 1870. This supports the theatre as they then receive the full ticket value without having to pay commission
The Late Rooms online hotel booking service is the best one - backed by men and women, to get the best central hotel for your needs and offer great deals as well. We use them ourselves.
Taxis & Travel Contact us
This links you to the taxi page
of Transport for London.

A note from the author

We put this AVMovie together (a compilation of still photos and video clips) to show off London theatres as they are seen most often by theatre goers – by night.

Thanks to Ben Shafik for his lighthearted and informative commentary and Fionn O'Lochlainn for the original music.

Watch out for the new version with current liveries and the names of the theatres as they appear.




Here are 2 old posters which seem to be clearer about the play itself.

Rosencrantz Old 1
Rosencrantz Old 2

Rosencranz and Guildenstern are cast by Shakespeare, in his play Hamlet, as bit parts. This is a sort of venn diagram where the two plays overlap. The writing is superlative - in other words the actors' lines are great. This play focusses on Rosencranz and Guildenstern and projects Stoppard's pass at the vital part they also play in Hamlet's story.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Poster"Tom Stoppard brings them front and center in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and while it's easy to describe the play as the story of Hamlet as told from the point of view of these two minor characters, it is so much more than that.

Stoppard's play is a meditation on the nature of life and each person's place in it. Is there a purpose to our daily struggle? Are we merely minor players whose lives are guided by others? Or is it all chance, with no rhyme or reason?
Byrne Harrison

Rosencranz and Guildenstern are confused by their role in the overall story.The play is funny with tragedy as a drone on uilleann pipes always there underneath which throws them alternately it seems into phisophy at some depth. As such the play has been likened to 'Waiting for Goddot by Beckett. The are also confused by the difficulty people have with their names - even swapping them over.

Guildenstern: ‘There must have been a moment, at the beginning, when we could have said no. But somehow we missed it.’

This play is a favourite all over the world as it offers the fines of discourse in legitimate theatre... (that means no music). Yet it is a good play to take children to. Though they put the age at 12 I know several 7-8 year olds who would love it.

ParkerRosencrantz and Guildenstern are two minor characters who are childhood college friends of the Danish prince Hamlet and seem oblivious to the dramatic affairs of state in the kingdom they are visiting.

Hamlet has had a murder perpetrated on a member of his family and uses 'the Murder of Gonzago' as a play to subtely accuse the possible murderer.
Having seen the play, they are then charged to accompany Hamlet to the King of England secretly bearing a letter ordering Hamlet killed.

Samuel BarnetHamlet already makes it plain that he thinks they are politically insignificant idiots and discovers the plot. He manages to switch the letter for another, asking the king to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. During the voyage, they are ambushed by pirates and Hamlet, ostensibly their prisoner, escapes, They carry on to deliver the letter anyway and are presumed dead. Hamlet returns to carry on his dramatic tragedy.


  • Samuel Barnett - Rosencrantz
  • Jamie Parker - Guildenstern
  • Tim Curry - The Player
  • Chris Andrew Mellon - The Player King
  • Michael Benz - Horatio
  • Fiona Gillies - Gertrude
  • Tom Golding - Fortinbras
  • Charles Hamblett - Alfred
  • Jack Hawkins - Hamlet
  • Andrew Jarvis - Polonius/Ambassador
  • Katherine Press - Ophelia
  • James Simmons - Claudius
  • Trevor Allan Davies
  • Tomm Coles
  • Jody Elin Machin
  • Zac Fox
  • Elisabeth Hopper
  • Greg Last
  • James Northcote
  • Stephen Pallister
  • Play - Tom Stoppard
  • Director - Trevor Nunn
  • Designer - Simon Higlett
  • Lighting - Tim Mitchell
  • Sound - Paul Groothuis
  • Costumes - Fotini Dimou
  • Producer - Chichester Festival Theatre,
    Theatre Royal Haymarket and Triumph Entertainment Limited
©Covent-Garden.co.uk 2011 Updated 19th May 2011