30 June 2006

Rock 'n' Roll by Tom Stoppard

Piper/Police,am/Stephen - Edward Hogg
Esme(younger)/Alice - Alice Eve
Jan - Rufus Sewell
Max - Brian Cox
Eleanor/Esme(older) - Sinead Cusack
Gillian/Magda/Deidre - Miranda Colchester
Interrogator/Nigel - Anthony Calf
Ferdinand - Peter Sullivan
Milan/Policeman/Jaroslav - Martin Chamberlain
Lenka - Nicole Ansari
Candida - Louise Bangay

Directed by Trevor Nunn
Designed by Robert Jones

at the Royal Court during the first month of it's premiere run

Tom Stoppard is always accused of being predictable but is that a bad thing? Is the guarantee of intelligent debate presented by well rounded characters really a thing to complain about?

This play is hard to sum up in a few lines. We watch several pivotal relationships charting the politics of Czechoslovakia right down to the stigma attached to a dying woman's right to excercise her brain. I'll admitt that I was concerned that this would be too much for my tiny head to cope with but I think it speaks on many levels.

The cast were magnificent (with one exception who shall remain nameless) and clearly salivated over the incredible text. There were no weak points here at all. Each short scene is changed with loud and narratively acute music taking us backwards and forwards between Cambridge and Prague. Nothing is wasted. Every scene has it's purpose and impact. Heaven