Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
By Tom Stoppard
Library Theatre Company
The Lowry, 24 September 2010
What should you get for a play that has everything? Such an easy question to answer: a Library Theatre production.
Arcadia has an inventive structure, what with the forth-and-back timeshifts between the Romantic age and the present day. It is chockfull of ideas, as with all of Stoppard’s work, and it deals in particular with the clash between the two cultures of art and science, poetry and mathematics. All attempts by we poor mortal beings to find meaning, pattern and beauty in the universe. There’s also – again as per normal with Stoppard – a lot of dry wit on display, and an entirely earned and warranted elegiac ending.
The cast were variously excellent, from Cate Hamer as Hannah the pernickety independent scholar to Leigh Symonds as Ezra Chater, a character straight out of the pages of Smollett, to Joe Shalom, who gave an affecting performance as Augustus, the lad who’s an elective mute. Charlie Anson as Septimus Hodge was outstanding, mind; he had a real magnetic presence.
This is a play that will move you, make you laugh and tickle your brain cells too. You will find this production to be well-nigh perfect. Perfectly acted, perfectly paced, perfectly realised overall.
Arcadia, a Library Theatre production, is showing at The Lowry until 9 October. Full details here.Explore posts in the same categories: Theatre review comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.