I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard

5 Sep

I don’t, actually. I’d settle for a warm handshake. And a little intellectual conversation.

So I don’t want to sleep with Tom Stoppard. Toby Schmitz on the other hand…..

I saw a preview of this show. But as many artists know, every performance is a preview. The real action happens later, in the audience’s hearts and minds. Perhaps in the foyer afterwards. Perhaps in the car on the way home. Perhaps when we next choose to replace a harsh word with a soft one, or a simplistic explanation with a gentle smile of bafflement.

I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard is replete with knowledge about the biz and that’s part of its charm. It’s well aware of the theatre world’s foibles, and of the many challenges faced by artists.

Schmitz’s script is clever and very engaging. There are some great situational set-ups and plenty of terrific one-liners. (In some circles, the one-liner is denigrated. It’s not part of naturalism’s doctrine;  it allows characters to be as intelligent as the artists who create them. And that’s a dangerous heresy, for how then would artists be special? )

Director Leland Kean has cast well and elicits winning performances from the entire team. I found Caroline Brazier as the actress (sic) particularly poignant.

Now, everyone’s a critic. Except me. I write about what plays make me think. (For the audience every performance is a preview.)

And what did I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard make me think about?

Early in the play the question of the value of theatre is aired. It then remains suspended in the play’s atmosphere, a thin mist but one impossible to avoid, regardless of the personal stories that unfold.

Of course, the question ‘what is the value of theatre?’ contains a category error. It’s like asking ‘what’s the weather pattern of Wednesdays?’ There’s no such pattern.

There is no ‘value of theatre’. There’s nothing so distinct and clear and unassailable that can transcend the flurry and fuss of life. Sometimes, at their weaker moments, artists would like there to be. Then their challenges – and they are many – would be easier to face.

But whatever value there is in theatre is dependent on too many variables, the audience being one. For every performance is a preview……

Veronica Kaye

I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard

Bondi Pavillion til 22nd Sept


One Response to “I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard”


  1. Review – TheatreRed – aware of the theatre world’s foibles, and of the many challenges faced by artists | Luke is going out with an actress. She’s a bit older than him. And dangerous. - September 5, 2012

    […] https://theatrered.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/i-want-to-sleep-with-tom-stoppard/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged Theatre Red, Veronica Kaye by sleepwithstoppard. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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