Arcadia by Tom StoppardArcadia takes us back and forth between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging over 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. Focusing on the mysteries--romantic, scientific, literary--that engage the minds and hearts of characters whose passions and lives intersect across scientific planes and centuries, it is Stoppards richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and... emotion. Its like a dream of levitation: youre instantaneously aloft, soaring, banking, doing loop-the-loops and then, when you think youre about to plummet to earth, swooping to a gentle touchdown of not easily described sweetness and sorrow... Exhilarating (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).
The ARCADIA Cast on Tom Stoppard
Arcadia review – a flat production can't dampen Tom Stoppard's dazzling play
Meanwhile Noakes , the landscape gardener for the estate, has discovered Septimus making love with Mrs. Chater , a houseguest, in the gazebo. The cuckolded Mr. Chater wants to duel Septimus, as was the custom, for the offense to his wife. Noakes plans to replace its pastoral elegance with a Romantic-style wilderness. In Scene 2, which zooms forward to the present day, Bernard , a scholar of the Romantic era, arrives at Sidley Park.
Audiences would be better primed prepping on the basics of chaos theory, the romantic versus the classic temperament, the second law of thermodynamics, and the peregrinations of notorious shagger and poet Lord Byron. In his dazzling play, Stoppard tells two stories in parallel, both set in the same English country estate, Sidley Park, but years apart. In the early s, a brilliant, pampered teenager, Thomasina Georgia Flood , and her brilliant, horny tutor, Septimus Ryan Corr , discuss the intellectual trends of their time. Thus begins a story of infidelity and duels, loaded letters, wounded egos and the interfering hand of Lord Byron who never appears. Meanwhile, the modern-day story centres on the work of three academics: a novelist, Hannah Andrea Demetriades ; a poetry professor, Bernard Josh McConville ; and a biologist and mathematician, Valentine Michael Sheasby. All are highly vested, professionally, in untangling the truth of what transpired between the 19th century characters at Sidley Park.
The play shifts back to the early nineteenth century. It is morning and Thomasina and Septimus sit together in the schoolroom. Thomasina tells Septimus that his.
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Actually, it seems ironic and maybe even a little trifling to attach dates to a play in which time is so supple and elusive a medium. The sizable wall of years separating the two becomes, as the play progresses, increasingly permeable. The four waltzers are united by the strains of a single melody. Popular music occupies a central place in his oeuvre. The contemporary scenes are largely a sendup of academia and literary scholarship, as personified by one of its gruesomer manifestations—the critic who claims a sort of condescending proprietorship over those poor wayward artists whom his judgments ostensibly serve. All scenes unfold at Sidley Park, a country house in Derbyshire in which various historical documents have been haphazardly gathered over the centuries.