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Tom Stoppard

Related: theatre - UK

Biography

Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE (born Tom Straussler on July 3, 1937) is a British playwright. Born in Czechoslovakia, he is famous for plays such as The Real Thing and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and for the screenplay for Shakespeare in Love. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Stoppard

Arcadia (1993) - Tom Stoppard

Arcadia (1993) - Tom Stoppard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Arcadia is a play by Tom Stoppard which first opened at the Royal National Theatre in London on 13 April 1993 and has played at many theatres since. It impressed the critics: the London Daily Telegraph's critic wrote "I have never left a new play more convinced that I'd just witnessed a masterpiece."

The play's title is a reference to the Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego, and underscores the seriousness of its comedy.

Arcadia is set in an English country house, at two periods, 1809 and 1989, and switches back and forth between them. It takes an acid look at academic research, by juxtaposing the interpretations of modern historians with the clues they interpret, which we see being left by the inhabitants of the earlier time. Arcadia explores the nature of evidence and truth in the context of modern ideas of mathematics and physics. The play questions the power of modernity and mocks the motives behind postmodernity, climaxing in one character's spirited soliloquy defending the beauty and wholeness of Aristotle's universe.

The play showcases Stoppard's trademark bravura allusiveness, essaying confidently into each of its myriad scattered foc Mathematics, Physics, Thermodynamics, Computer Algorithms, Chaos Theory, Fractals, Classics, Landscape Design, Romanticism vs. Classicism, English Literature (particularly poetry), Byron, 18th Century Periodicals, modern Academia, and even South Pacific Botany � which pile up for the audience like the books, coffee mugs, portfolios, laptop computers, and turtle which accrue, as the play progresses, on the great table which forms the centrepiece of the set. These are the concrete topics of conversation; the more abstract philosophical resonances start from there and keep going � apart from those suggested in the previous paragraph we might begin by mentioning epistemology, nihilism, the origins of lust, madness. The jokes pile upon each other too, ranging from the subtlest literary innuendos to the broadest sexual ones. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcadia_(play) [May 2004]

Travesties (1974) - Tom Stoppard

In search of faction

Travesties (1974) - Tom Stoppard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Travesties is a comedic play by Tom Stoppard, first produced at the Aldwych Theatre, London, on June 10, 1974, in a production by the Royal Shakespeare Company. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travesties [Jul 2006]

The play includes Tristan Tzara, Lenin, and James Joyce as characters.

Travesties is a parody of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. The play starts from the fact that Tristan Tzara, Vladimir Lenin, and James Joyce were all in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1917 (in fact they were there at slightly different times, but Stoppard gets round this by telling the story through the memory of a confused old man, Henry Carr - hence also the facts getting mixed up with the plot of 'The Importance of Being Earnest', which Carr performed in at the time). There are clear relationships between Joyce's literary work and Tzara's dada art. The relation to Lenin's ideas is less well explained. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom Stoppard [Jul 2006]

At the same time that the Zrich Dadaists made noise and spectacle at the Cabaret Voltaire, Vladimir Lenin wrote his revolutionary plans for Russia in a nearby apartment. He was unappreciative of the artistic revolutionary activity near him. Tom Stoppard used this coincidence as a premise for his play Travesties (1974), which includes Tzara, Lenin, and James Joyce as characters. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dada [Jul 2006]

See also: faction - travesty - theatre - Tristan Tzara - James Joyce - Lenin

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