Stoppard junior has made a name for himself on screen in the likes of The Pianist, Brideshead Revisited, Fugitive Pieces and Tchaikovsky, and on stage in The Glass Menagerie, Hamlet, Wit, The Seagull and, most recently, On the Rocks.
In David Leveaux’s new production of Arcadia, the first major revival of the 1993 modern classic, Ed Stoppard plays Valentine Coverly, a student of chaos mathematics who helps to unravel a centuries-old academic mystery. Stoppard is joined in the stellar ensemble by Trevor Cooper, Sam Cox, Samantha Bond, Nancy Carroll, Jessie Cave, Neil Pearson and Dan Stevens. The production continues its limited season until 12 September 2009.
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The story in Arcadia begins in April 1809 at a stately home in Derbyshire where Thomasina, a gifted pupil, proposes a startling theory, beyond her comprehension. All around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are preoccupied with secret desires, illicit passions and professional rivalries. Two hundred years later, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard, are piecing together puzzling clues, curiously recalling those earlier events, in their quest for an increasingly elusive truth.
Director David Leveaux has previously directed revivals of Stoppard’s The Real Thing and Jumpers, both of which transferred to the West End and Broadway following runs at, respectively, the Donmar Warehouse and the National Theatre. Leveaux’s other credits include Nine, Fiddler on the Roof, Betrayal, Cyrano de Bergerac and Anna Christie on Broadway; and The Distance from Here and Sinatra in the West End.
Arcadia is designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with costumes by Amy Roberts, lighting by Paul Anderson and sound by Simon Baker. It’s presented in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Roger Berlind, Robert G Bartner and Olympus Theatricals.