Henry, a successful playwright, has fallen deeply in love with Annie, an actress, and they have left their respective spouses to embark upon a life together. But Henry is becoming riddled with doubts – is what he feels ‘the real thing’ or merely an illusion? While Annie, taking up the political cause of a soldier arrested for an anti-war protest and pursued by a young co-star, is starting to feel the pressures of fidelity.
Having blithely written a hit play about adultery, Henry gradually comes to an awareness of the torment that love and betrayal can bring in their wake. In this brilliant, funny and provocative exploration of commitment – to lovers, children, causes, ideas – Stoppard brings together head and heart, life and art in exhilarating style.
Directed by Alice Livingstone (Privates on Parade, Top Girls, The Weir), the creative team is headed by set designer Sharina Matthews who comes with a wealth of experience in film, television, theatre, events and styling, joined by lighting designer Richard Whitehouse (Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them), costume designer Famke Visser (The Diary of Anne Frank, Privates on Parade) and sound designer Alistair Wallace (When the Rain Stops Falling, Punk Rock).
Tom Stoppard is a British playwright, who has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, and is one of the most internationally performed dramatists of his generation, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and The Real Thing.
He co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil, The Russia House, and Shakespeare in Love, and has received one Academy Award and four Tony Awards. Themes of human rights, censorship and political freedom pervade his work along with exploration of linguistics and philosophy. He was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1972, and appointed a Knight Bachelor (Kt) in 1997. Stoppard was awarded the Order of Merit (OM) in 2000.
First performed in 1982, The Real Thing has won numerous awards including: Evening Standard Award for Best Play (1982), Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play (1984), New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play (1984), and Tony Award for Best Play (1984). It also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play and the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2000.
“A play that glows with love’s warmth and burns with love’s pain” – The Telegraph (UK)
Director: Alice Livingstone Cast: Peter Eyers, Charlotte Hazzard, Ainslie McGlynn, Christopher Tomkinson, Emily Weare, Benjamin Winckle Set Designer: Sharina Matthews Lighting Designer: Richard Whitehouse Costume Designer: Famke Visser Sound Design: Alistair Wallace Assistant Director/Dramaturg: Roxzan Bowes Costume Assistant: Melissa Lombardo Production/Stage Manager: Jo Jewitt Lighting Operator: Ole Borch
The Real Thing
New Theatre, 542 King street, Newtown
Season: 8 October – 7 November 2015 (previews: 6 – 7 October )
For more information, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au for details.