‘Vienna in 1900 was the most vibrant city in Europe, humming with artistic and intellectual excitement and a genius for enjoying life. A tenth of the population were Jews. A generation earlier they had been granted full civil rights by the Emperor, Franz Josef. Consequently, hundreds of thousands had fled from the Pale and the pogroms in the East and many found sanctuary in the crowded tenements of the old Jewish quarter, Leopoldstadt.
Tom Stoppard’s new play, directed by Patrick Marber, is an intimate drama with an epic sweep; the story of a family who made good. “My grandfather wore a caftan,” says Hermann, a factory owner, “My father went to the opera in a top hat, and I have the singers to dinner.”
It was not to last. Half a century later, this family, like millions of others, has re-discovered what it means to be Jewish in the first half of the 20th century.’
Tom Stoppard’s new play ‘Leopoldstadt’ is coming to the West End on 25th January 2020.
Writer of ‘Arcadia’, ‘The Real Thing’, and ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’, Stoppard was forced to flee his homeland of Czechoslovakia as a child to escape Nazi occupation. His four Jewish grandparents, along with several other relatives, died in Nazi concentration camps. Drawing on his experiences in the play, Stoppard said: “It took a year to write but the gestation was much longer. Quite a lot of it is personal to me but I made it about a Viennese family so that it wouldn’t seem to be about me.”
Now the sixth collaboration between Tom Stoppard and producer Sonia Friedman, Friedman said of Stoppard: “He is without question our greatest living playwright, and alongside two or three others the greatest playwright of the 20th and 21st century. Just look at his body of work. He is one of the great minds, one of the great thinkers of our time. He has worked solidly for a year on this play but it’s been a play that’s been gestating with him for many years… It is a beautiful, epic, sweeping play that is going to sit like a gleaming jewel in the West End. It is a remarkable play, it’s a personal play… It will feel very relevant, very timely, very pertinent.”
A passionate drama of love, family and endurance, ‘Leopoldstadt’ is Stoppard’s most humane and heartbreaking play.
Directed by Patrick Marber, full casting and creatives are to be announced at a later date.
‘Leopoldstadt‘ will run at Wyndham’s Theatre for a limited run from 25th January to 16th May 2020.
Priority booking opens on Thursday 27th June, with tickets on sale to the general public on Friday 28th June at 10am.