When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead premiered in Edinburgh and London in August of 1966 and in April of 1967, Tom Stoppard was immediately recognized as a major contemporary playwright. The cleverness in the concept of the play, its verbal dexterity, and its phenomenal theatricality brought its first reviewer, Ronald Bryden, to call it "the most brilliant debut by a young playwright since John Arden." Later, in London, Irving Wardle, writing for the Guardian, said that "as a first stage play it is an amazing piece of work," and in New York,...
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