At the outset I must say that, along with the first night audience, I was fully engaged by the Stirling Players presentation of Tom Stoppard’s play.
The sparse utilitarian set with its cluttered signage at each side of the stage as its sole framework served to focus the audience attention on both character and dialogue as the playwright intended.
Mark Healy as Rosencrantz and Alex Antoniou as Guildenstern worked with exemplary concentration and energy to produce flawless performances. And Tim Williams as The Player, along with his motley crew of performers, provided just the right dose of diversion each time he and they joined them onstage.
Director Hayley Horton has allowed the stage craft savvy of her excellent ensemble to shine. It was obvious that everybody on stage enjoyed the challenge of paying homage to this iconic play. And there was recognisable understanding of language and style shifting whenever the Elizabethans made an entrance.
Whilst diction was excellent from every character I felt the volume of delivery was generally pitched a little high. There could be more opportunity for an audience to savour dialogue with a little attention to modulation. Sometimes less can be more in this regard.
The opening night provided a seamless performance throughout which, regardless of the sparse set, paucity of scene changes and simplicity of how the stage is lit, is indicative of a disciplined team backstage.
Director Horton and her excellent cast are most worthy of your attention and the Stirling Players can feel deservedly proud of their treatment of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.