by Tom Stoppard

Tom Stoppard - Arcadia

BBC Radio 3

Broadcast: Sunday 26th December 1993

Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" represents two time periods, the Romantic Era of the early 1800's and Modern time. He intertwines these periods and characters freely throughout the entire play, giving the audience a wonderful perspective on human perception and interaction.

The characters of the present are trying to discover what happened in the past. Hannah and Bernard are both searching for the Romantic ideal (Hannah with her hermit and Bernard with Lord Byron). The characters of the past are discovering the future. Thomasina (the true Romantic ideal) foresees the concepts of Thermodynamics, Fractal Geometry, and Chaos Theory. Her tutor Septimus tries to work out how these concepts can be forestalled.

Stoppard explores the nature of truth and history, the conflict between Classical and Romantic thought, mathematics and chaos theory, English landscape architecture, and, ultimately, love both familial and familiar.

With Emma Fielding [Thomasina Coverly], Harriet Harrison [Chloe Coverly], Samuel West [Valentine Coverly], Timothy Matthews . [Augustus Coverly / Gus Coverly], Rufus Sewell [Septimus Hodge], Derek Hutchinson [Ezra Chater], Sydney Livingstone [Richard Noakes], Graham Sinclair [Captain Edward Brice], Harriet Walter [Lady Croom], Felicity Kendal [Hannah Jarvis], William Nighy [Bernard Nightingale], and Allan Mitchell [Jellaby, the Butler].

Original Music by Jeremy Sams.

Directed by David Benedictus.

ARCADIA was first produced on the Lyttleton stage at the National Theatre on the 13th April 1993. It was directed by Trevor Nunn. Felicity Kendal played Hannah Jarvis, Bill Nighy played Bernard Nightingale, and Rufus Sewell played Septimus Hodge.

155 min.

There are further notes about this play on Tom Stoppard's page.


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