by Tom Stoppard
directed by Nick Perry
Put the date in your diary
DBS Arts Centre ~ Home of the SRT
Everything you wanted to know about love, sex, betrayal and pop music. Tom Stoppard’s brilliant award-winning play is certainly due a revival. Surprising, moving, overflowing with wit and accompanied by a great sound track.
Tom Stoppard’s brilliant multi-award winning play takes us into a theatrical hall of mirrors where love and language, sex and betrayal, pop music and literature are reflected in a dazzling, thought-provoking, yet constantly moving way. First produced in 1982, The Real Thing answered those critics who felt Tom Stoppard’s plays contained too much intellectual razzle-dazzle and not enough heart.
“The Real Thing turns out to be a play which reminds you why you go to the theatre and why you fall in love. And why, just sometimes, it is all worth the effort.”
-Sheridan Morley, The Spectator
“The Real Thing is the real thing, a play by a world-class writer, a play with insights that follow you out of the theater and deep into the night.”
-Laurie Winer, The Los Angeles Times
The play was originally premiered in Singapore 1993, directed by Nick Perry, in a completely sold-out run.
This revival will also be directed by Nick Perry whose previous productions include Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Neil Simonn’s Rumours and The Female Odd Couple, Michael Frayn’s Alarms and Excursions, Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy, Ray Cooney’s Out of Order, Ben Elton’s Gasping, Chris Smith’s An Evening with Gary Lineker and most recently, Willy Russell’s Educating Rita.
The Real Thing is a play by Tom Stoppard, first performed in 1982. It examines the nature of honesty, and its use of a play within a play is one of many levels on which the author teases the audience with the difference between semblance and reality.
The play focuses on the relationship between Henry and Annie, an actress who is part of a committee to free Brodie, a Scottish soldier imprisoned for burning a memorial wreath during a protest.
There are obvious parallels between Stoppard and his main character: both are middle-aged playwrights known for their exact use of language; both express doubts about Marxism and the politics of the left and both undertake work outside the theatre to keep up their comfortable lifestyles and pay alimony to their wives.
With these similarities established, it is only a small step to compare Henry’s fictional situation with that of his creator: both men take up with another man’s wife and find happiness, while retaining a strong relationship with their children. In Stoppard’s case this is reinforced by his relationship with Felicity Kendal, the actress who played Annie in the original staging, although, as Stoppard notes, he developed his plot before Kendall took the role.