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Arcadia

Arcadia
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Tom Stoppard
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 114
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN-10: 0573695660
ISBN-13: 9780573695667
Cast Size: 4 women, 8 men

About the Play:

Arcadia was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Winner of the 1995 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and the 1994 Olivier Award.

Arcadia is a full-length a mystery-comedy by Tom Stoppard. The author examines events at an English country estate in 1809 and in the present day. Mathematics, romance, Lord Byron and other ideas and feelings contribute to the goings-on in the past, as two academics attempt to unravel them in the present. This play has earned its place in theatrical history as a modern masterpiece.

Arcadia is part detective story and part comedy of manners. In a large country house in Derbyshire in April 1809 sits Lady Thomasina Coverly, aged thirteen, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge. Through the window may be seen some of the '500 acres inclusive of lake' where Capability Brown's idealized landscape is about to give way to the 'picturesque' Gothic style: 'everything but vampires', as the garden historian Hannah Jarvis remarks to Bernard Nightingale when they stand in the same room 180 years later. Bernard has arrived to uncover the scandal which is said to have taken place when Lord Byron stayed at Sidley Park. Tom Stoppard's absorbing play Arcadia takes us back and forth between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperament, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life – 'the attraction', as Hannah says, 'which Newton left out'.

Arcadia premiered in 1993 at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain in 1993, and transferred to London's West End for a lengthy and successful run. It is considered one of the greatest plays of the last century, winning countless awards including the 1993 Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best New Play. Arcadia has twice been produced on Broadway, winning the 1995 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, and the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival of Play.

Cast: 4 women, 8 men

What people say:

"I have never left a play more convinced that I had just witnessed a masterpiece." — The Daily Telegraph

"Pure entertainment for the heart, mind, soul... The best Broadway play for many, many a season. It is a work shot through with fun, passion and, yes, genius." — The New York Post

"Stoppard's richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and...emotion. It's like a dream of levitation: you're instantaneously aloft, soaring, banking, doing loop the loops and then, when you think you're about to plummet to earth, swooping to a gentle touchdown of not easily described sweetness and sorrow ... The playwright is a daredevil pilot who's steady at the controls ... Exhilarating." — The New York Times

"Full of complex ideas and pleasures one expects from this master of dramatic composition." — Time Out (New York)

"Arcadia, the play generally regarded as Stoppard's masterpiece… sparkles – time is magically, heartbreakingly suspended…." — National Post

"A dazzling exposition of epigrammatic wit." — Daily Express (London)

About the Playwright:

Sir Tom Stoppard (born Tomás Straüssler) is a Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter. His family had to flee to Singapore at the onset of the Nazi invasion. The family moved to England in 1946, where he left school at the age of seventeen to work for The Western Daily Press, in Bristol. He was catapulted into the front ranks of modern playwrights overnight when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead opened in London in 1967, for which he was awarded a Tony, the Prix Italia, the New York Critic's Award, and Plays and Players Award for Best New Play. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, and in 1998 shared a best original screenplay Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. He was knighted in 1997.

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