Arcadia

by Tom Stoppard

Arcadia had 4 performances almost 18 years ago (between the 26th of November 2003 and the 29th of November 2003)

Arcadia is an immensely rich and fascinating play spanning an enormous number of themes and topics. It is set in a single room in a country mansion (Sidley Park, the ancestral seat of the Earl of Croom) - both in 1809 and in the present day - with scenes and characters (but not the props!) alternating between the centuries.

Above all, Arcadia tells a tragic and unrequited love story, yet it also dextrously reveals an astounding and highly comic mystery concerning Lord Byron, an exploration of the second law of thermodynamics, and the nature of human mortality.

Along the way, the play examines the classical versus the romantic temperament, the value of art and science, love, chaos theory, landscape gardening, maths, and lots of sex – "the attraction that Newton left out".

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Thomasina Coverly - Charlotte Harris

14-18 yrs. Daughter of the household – funny. a little precocious, and a true genius before her time. Highly challenging part for a very young actor.

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Septimus Hodge - Nick Lund

20s - Thomasina\'s tutor – witty , handsome, charming – and ultimately doomed. A very demanding role for a confident period player.

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Ezra Chater - Graham Botterill

30-50 – A pompous and ridiculous man trying to be a good husband and a better poet. He is neither – plenty of scope for a good comedy actor.

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Captain Brice - Nigel Smith

40-55 – A Royal Navy Captain in love with Mrs Chater – a smaller role with comedy moments.

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Mr Noakes - Paul Surrey

A luckless landscape architect – the object of much of Lady Croom’s derision.

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Lady Croom - Laura Allen

30s? – the formidable, tart, and sexually active Lady of the house – Thomasina’s mother. A young ‘Lady Bracknell’ – wonderful!

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Augustus Coverly - Simon Botterill

15 – a small but important role for Thomasina’s brother, studying at Eton. The same actor plays Gus in the present day.

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Jellaby - Roy Selfe

50+ - the archetypal butler – a small role with some good laughs……….

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Hannah Jarvis - Linda Russell

30s – An academic researcher investigating the Sidley Park gardens, and in particular its hermitage. Bright and highly intelligent but apparently rather sexless and unemotional. She is more at home with her work than other people. A key, demanding, role.

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Bernard Nightingale - Keith Bollands

30 – 45 – A self-important and somewhat lecherous English academic driven by his desire to uncover a salacious mystery involving Byron. Substantial dialogue with Hannah and Valentine on the academic themes of the play, but also a riotously funny part.

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Valentine Coverly - Alex Dent

20s – the introverted Oxbridge maths scholar in love with Hannah and always at odds with Bernard. Has to explain much of the physics for the audience! – but a very real and modern young man.

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Chloe Coverly - Joanne Temple

18-22 – Valentine’s sister, obsessed with sex and fame. A smaller role with good comedy moments

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Gus Coverly - Simon Botterill

15 – their younger brother who is mute, and who has a crush on Hannah. The same actor also plays Augustus in 19th century.

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Director - Mark Humble