Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Shakespeare in Love, Blood, and Rhetoric

If you were trapped in a place without any visible character, forced
to respond to random instructions that you could not understand, left
to your own devices with nothing to entertain yourself but what you had
in your pockets, how would you pass the time?

Sounds like the
Higashiyama Line, and if you were me, you’d put on your sunglasses and
pretend not to understand what the old man beside you was saying about
your legs.

But what if you weren’t me; what if you were one of
Shakespeare’s most forgettable characters, bumbling in a state of
perpetual confusion and having your name confused and mispronounced
from here til Tuesday. What if you were Rosenstern or Guildencrantz. I
mean Rosencrantz or Guildenstern, two of Hamlet’s college chums, called
upon by the evil usurper king Claudius to discover the meaning of
Hamlet’s madness?

Maybe you would fold those little paper
football things and start flicking them around. Maybe you�d think of a
capital city for every letter in the alphabet. Or maybe you’d sit and
wonder where the bathroom was… for future reference.
Or perhaps� perhaps you’d toss a coin.
And what if, imagine, the coin fell down heads, every time, 92 tosses in a row.
What would you think?

ROS: Well… I’d have a good look at your coins for a start.

to the world of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a
comic twist on Shakespeare’s Hamlet by one of Britain’s foremost
playwrights (remember Shakespeare in Love? Yeah, that was him, too).
This fall, the Nagoya Players take a foray into the wordy world of
Stoppard’s comedic genius and bring you a play that has been knocking
�em dead ever since it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in

Life is confusing for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They’re
traveling, but they don’t know where. They’ve got somewhere to be, and
soon, but they don’t know why. They’re propositioned on the road by an
almost all-girl acting troupe (featuring a token boy playing all the
female roles), whose abilities in the ‘tragic vein’ are questionable,
at best. They’re transported to Elsinore, Hamlet’s place, and people
start ordering them left, right, up, down, and center, but they still
can’t make heads, tails, beards, or toenails of it.
It’s a recipe for existential mayhem, a triumph of sound over
substance, an escape from the daily into the pointless and pretend, and
an excellent excuse to get off the train in Sakae and go to the Aichi
Arts Center.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
November 12th (14:00 & 19:00) and 13th (14:00 & 18:00)
Aichi Arts Center Mini Theater (next to Oasis 21 in Sakae)

Students: ¥1800 adv, ¥2000 door
Adults: ¥2000 adv, ¥2500 door

For advance tickets, contact Aichi Arts Center Playguide at or e-mail . For additional info (English/Japanese), call .