By TOM STOPPARD
A masterpiece that flits from 1809 to the present and back again
Arcadia moves back and forth between 1809 and the present at the elegant estate owned by the Coverly family. The 1809 scenes reveal a household in transition. As the Arcadian landscape is being transformed into picturesque Gothic gardens, complete with a hermitage, thirteen year-old Lady Thomasina and her tutor delve into intellectual and romantic issues. Present day scenes depict the Coverly descendants and two competing scholars who are researching a possible scandal at the estate in 1809 involving Lord Byron.
This brilliant play moves smoothly between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between classical and romantic temperaments, and the disruptive influence of sex on our life orbits, "the attraction Newton left out".
In an interview with Playbill magazine, Stoppard spoke of his inspiration for Arcadia. "I began to think about a room in which things happened 180 years apart but the room would stay just the same," he said. "I had a sense that what would make the play would be if the audience was in the know when the modern characters were trying to figure out what happened a century earlier."
Arcadia was the winner of the 1995 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and the 1994 Olivier Award.
Tom Stoppard's richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and, new for him, emotion.
I have never left a play more convinced that I had just witnessed a masterpiece.
…perhaps the greatest play of [the late 20th Century]
HANNAH JARVIS | Anne-Marie Leigh
BERNARD NIGHTINGALE | David McAlinden
VALENTINE COVERLY | Alex Bennett
CHLOE COVERLY | Sarah Peachey
GUS COVERLY | Sam Curry
SEPTIMUS HODGE | Alex Bhat
THOMASINA COVERLY | Belinda Sherlock
LADY CROOM | Chloe Faine
EZRA CHATER | Craig Karpel
CAPTAIN BRICE | Ben Smith
RICHARD NOAKES | Ben Long
JELLABY | Matthew Prince
AUGUSTUS COVERLY | Sam Curry
DIRECTOR | Matt Gould
PRODUCER | Alex Dorlandt
SET DESIGN | Brian Tucker
LIGHTING DESIGN | Douglas Green
COSTUME DESIGNERS | Deborah Lean and Karen Lister
POSTER | Stephen Beeny
The simple set worked well for both times and was believable… It is always a joy to go and see well acted and well directed theatre… The audience could tell [the actors] understood what their characters were saying and why they had to say it… All the performances were strong and retained their originality… Overall a great piece…
- Tuesday 19 July 2011 7.30pm
- Wednesday 20 July 2011 7.30pm
- Thursday 21 July 2011 7.30pm
- Friday 22 July 2011 7.30pm
- Saturday 23 July 2011 2.30pm
- Saturday 23 July 2011 7.30pm