Thursday, March 13, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch as Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Perf. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch. Selection from National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage. Dir. Nicholas Hytner. Olivier Theatre. 2 November 2013.

The National Theatre recently celebrated its fifty years of existence with a stage performance and documentary that's currently available for streaming in full at PBS's website.

The section that is likely to catch everyone's eye is Benedict Cumberbatch.  He who plays Sherlock in the new BBC Sherlock series and Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness plays Rosencrantz in the "dead in a box" sequence from the middle of Act II of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard's first play on the stage of the National Theatre. Here's the scene in question:

That is, of course, great—and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does a magnificent job as Guildenstern. But the entire show has some fascinating clips from the archives that I can't wait to enjoy.

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Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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