Fancy a Game?

I discovered Tom Stoppard when I was in junior high. I was involved in a youth theater program and one of my pals showed up with a copy of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” I was immediately hooked. I was giddy with the word play Mr. Stoppard employs. She and I would spend hours sitting on the steps between rehearsals or during breaks reading that script – she as Guildenstern, me as Rosencrantz. (Decades on, we still address each other with those names and can recite parts of the play from memory.)

The best part of the whole script is the scant few pages that encompass the Questions Game. Rules are simple: keep asking questions. A point is scored if the opponent returns with a statement, repeats a question, hesitates, or uses rhetoric. Check out how Gary Oldman and Tim Roth play the game in the movie version here:

I was reminded of this when my buddy Guildenstern posted a video from the Old Vic with Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire playing a non-scripted version of the game as a promo for their upcoming production. Check out their version here:

An online game of questions quickly ensued with friends from different parts of my life chiming in. A portion of the exchange:

Was it your intent to score?
Did you start the game?
Ooo, can I play?
Is it good if I am already down one point?
Would you prefer it to be good?
Would I be a fool to prefer it so?
Are fools the only ones who can play?
Are you foolish?
Could any answer truly stop us from playing?

I couldn’t help but think to our conversations here that always start with a question.

A brief recap of the rules: only speak in questions. Statements, pauses, repeats or rhetoric will give a point to…someone. How much of the day can we spend only speaking to each other using only the interrogatory?

Would you like to play at Questions?


72 thoughts on “Fancy a Game?”

  1. How much do I love Tom Stoppard plays? Two community theater times’ worth. Our little local group did a couple one acts: Inspector Hound and the 13 Minute Hamlet…is that cool or what?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How fun is this? Do you realize how much I love “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead?” Is that play hilarious or what? Isn’t it amazing how Stoppard wrote an entire play about two minor characters from Hamlet? How cool is that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Did the dead limb that has been dangling from a larger live branch finally plummet to the ground in this wind? Is the answer blowing in the wind?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Does one ever stop questioning life and ones purpose…if any?
    How does one make decisions in life such as where to live?…and when?…and what to do to make a living?…what is a ‘living’?….and how does one just happen to met and or make friends? Is it fate? Carma? Act of God? Just accidental? Are accidents really accidental?

    I have too many questions to not keep going ‘tho I must…?…but I shall continue perhaps not on this blog…or shall I?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Am i really leaving on Saturday to see the D.C. cherry blossoms peak on a near record date? Will the weather there warm up in time for the predicted peak to hit as predicted next week; or will the best laid plans of me and mine, go awry?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seriously? Did the mucky mucks at the cherry blossom watch site just push the predicted peak to March 19-23 instead of 14-17 ? How much will it matter if we hit pre-peak? Should this go back to the bottom of the bucket list or are other items more worthy? Is there hope for someone with such a demented first world problem? Is the same woman who just sobbed over The Nightingale really suffering angst over cherry blossom timing?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do I want to read The Nightingale if it will make me cry? Don’t I already have enough angst in my life?


  5. Think you there is a more diverting post than that we have savoured today? Will my life and my energy coalesce so that I can liberate the posts in my head on to the computer screen?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. (We managed no repetitions, one called foul, one possible foul with the “excellent” – arguments could be made for some rhetoric…so. I don’t think either side made it to “game.” Call it two-love? – Line Judge)

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Damn! Knowing that this may well be used against me as a repeat, I can’t resist. Can this be asked more eloquently than by Sandy Denny?

    Liked by 2 people

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