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Arcadia

Overview

An elegant English country house provides the setting for ARCADIA. Leaping deftly backwards and forwards in time from 1809 to the present day, ARCADIA follows a powerful love story and an astounding mystery across the centuries. Stoppard enriches the adventure with embellishments of romantic poetry, chaos-theory mathematics, contemporary academic politics and landscape architecture. ARCADIA's many honours include the Olivier Award, the London Critics' Circle and Evening Standard Award for Best Play, and the Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. ARCADIA received its world premiere in London by the National Theatre in April 1993, and its American premiere at Lincoln Centre's Vivian Beaumont Theatre from March-August 1995, directed by Trevor Nunn. Critics raved over ARCADIA: "Tom Stoppard's richest, most ravishing comedy: a play of wit, intellect, brio and emotion. It's like a dream of levitation: you're instantaneously aloft, soaring, banking, doing loop-the-loops and then, when you think you're about to plummet to earth, swooping to a gentle touchdown of not easily described sweetness and sorrow." (New York Times)

Arcadia touches lightly upon subjects ranging from mortality to fidelity and even to landscape architecture. The play's structural breach from linear direction dramatically unravels the play's mystery bit by bit. And although Byron himself never makes an appearance, all the characters--both present and past--are somehow touched by his adventurous spirit.