Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead
Rosenstern and Guildencrantz are dead (with apologies to a certain Tom Stoppard)
ROSENSTERN: (Tosses a coin, checks the result and repeats) Heads…Heads…Heads…Heads…
GUILDENCRANTZ: (Interrupting) Does it ever feel to you like we’ve done all this before?
ROSENSTERN: How do you mean?
GUILDENCRANTZ: That we’re stuck in a rut. Going through the same things day after day.
ROSENSTERN: (Considering this) We were someone else before.
GUILDENCRANTZ: Yes but that’s history. We were boys back then.
ROSENSTERN: True. (Pause) And now we’re here?
GUILDENCRANTZ: (looking around) Alone…but at least we’re the centre of attention. It’s all about us.
ROSENSTERN: I thought the play’s the thing?
GUILDENCRANTZ: Oh you can do anything with a play, words are flexible. Anyway people know us now; we’re stars in own right.
ROSENSTERN: We’re recognisable
GUILDENCRANTZ: indistinguishable. You’ve seen us once, you’ve seen us anywhere.
ROSENSTERN: Or everywhere.
GUILDENCRANTZ: See, we’ll fit right in, like we’ve always been there. (Pause) Are you sure we haven’t done this before.
ROSENSTERN: (Tossing a coin) Heads…
GUILDENCRANTZ: This all seems very familiar. (Enter the reviewer). Who are you? We were expecting someone else.
REVIEWER: I think there’s been a misunderstanding, I’m not an actor; I’m supposed to be reviewing the play.
GUILDENCRANTZ: No, no. This does not make any sense at all. You’re not in the script. The audience won’t stand for it.
ROSENSTERN: We don’t have to tell them do we? (Indicating to the reviewer) He can try his best.
GUILDENCRANTZ: It will be a surprise but audiences get used to anything.
REVIEWER: If it remains relevant.
GUILDENCRANTZ: (aghast) relevant. Outrageous
GUILDENCRANTZ: Preposterous. Creations like us are timeless.
GUILDENCRANTZ: We are an exegesis on existentialism.
ROSENSTERN A deconstruction of determinism.
GUILDENCRANTZ: The product of a precocious talent.
ROSENSTERN: (Firmly) Two precocious talents.
REVIEWER: (Frustrated) Yes but do you have anything new to add. Is there a purpose to all this wordplay? Does it go anywhere or is it all, well, just a little bit pretentious.
GUILDENCRANTZ: Pretention? Purpose? (To Rosenstern) Have you ever felt so offended? (To the Reviewer) We are not some rough troupe of the blood, love and rhetoric school. (To Rosenstern) Look, now everything’s coming apart at the seams. You were right, we should get back to the plot…we still have our entrances and exits after all…
ROSENSTERN: ..and in our time we will play many parts.
GUILDENCRANTZ: (To the reviewer) We don’t need to justify our existence, we entertain – that is our purpose. And maybe we are similar after all. You look for meaning, we look for answers. (Pause) In the script, do we find them?
REVIEWER: Well there’s an important letter.
GUILDENCRANTZ: A letter?
ROSENSTERN: From the Prince?
REVIEWER: From the King.
ROSENSTERN: From the King.
REVIEWER: And from the Prince…in a manner of speaking. There are answers but not to your questions. (Reviewer exits)
GUILDENCRANTZ: Well that was odd. Still there’s no accounting for taste…and anyway he seemed like a hack.
ROSENSTERN: (Tosses a coin) Heads