THEATRE REVIEW - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Act II Theatre Company, South Holland Centre, Spalding

Act 1I Theatre Company director Charlotte Gurnett (Horatio) and Dominique Spinks (Orphelia) who both starred in Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Act 1I Theatre Company director Charlotte Gurnett (Horatio) and Dominique Spinks (Orphelia) who both starred in Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Photo by Tim Wilson.

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Minor players step up to major roles with ease

In the luscious and grandiose setting of Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, two teenage girls play Heads or Tails on converted beer crates.

Little does the audience suspect that the pair are resurrected characters from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, given an opportunity to have their say by Czech-born playwright Tom Stoppard with his dark comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

The play is the story of Hamlet through the eyes of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, childhood friends of the Danish prince who then turn on him at the bidding of Claudius.

But Act II portrays the pair as doomed, even path-etic characters who are given some dignity by young actors Seren Cave (Rosencrantz) and Charlotte Charleston Stokes (Guildenstern).

The miracle of learning your lines for a play where everything sits on your shoulders was pulled off by Charlotte and Seren who, at times, looked like a young Suranne Jones (Scott and Bailey, A Touch of Cloth, Vincent) in the making.

Other characters from Act II’s companion performance of Hamlet made a fleeting appearance, although there was time for Molly Riches to show her rich promise as an actress as The Player.

Review by Winston Brown