Travesties

by  Tom Stoppard

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  5m, 3f

"Stoppard has spun out a fantastically elaborate web to snare his three giants in the same play...One of the great pleasures of the evening is Stoppard's skill in moving in and out of Wilde's dialogue and rewriting it for his own purposes." - The London Times

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Travesties was born out of Stoppard's noting that in 1917 three of the twentieth century's most crucial revolutionaries -- James Joyce, the Dadaist founder Tristan Tzara, and Lenin -- were all living in Zurich. Also living in Zurich at this time was a British consula official called Henry Carr, a man acquainted with Joyce through the theater and later through a lawsuit concerning a pair of trousers. Taking Carr as his core, Stoppard spins this historical coincidence into a masterful and riotously funny play, a speculative portrait of what could have been the meeting of these profoundly influential men in a germinal Europe as seen through the lucid, lurid, faulty, and wholy riveting memory of an aging Henry Carr.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"Stoppard has spun out a fantastically elaborate web to snare his three giants in the same play...One of the great pleasures of the evening is Stoppard's skill in moving in and out of Wilde's dialogue and rewriting it for his own purposes." - The London Times

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1910s / WWI
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Henry Carr's room and the Zurich Public Library.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

5m, 3f
HENRY CARR - appears as a shabby old man and as his youthful elegant self
TRISTAN TZARA - the Dadaist of that name. He was a short, dark-haired, very boysih looking young man, and charming (his word).
JAMES JOYCE - Joyce in 1917/18, aged 36. 
LENIN - Lenin in 1917, aged 47.
BENNETT - Carr's manservant. Quite a weighty presence. 
GWENDOLEN - Carr's younger sister. Young and attractive, but also a personality to be reckoned with. 
CECILY - also young and attractive and even more to be reckoned with. Also appears as her older self. 
NADYA - Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin's wife, aged 48.
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Resources

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Authors

Tom Stoppard

Tom Stoppard’s most recent play, The Hard Problem, opened at the National Theatre in 2015. He wrote his first play, Enter a Free Man, whilst working as a journalist in Bristol. His plays include Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound, After Magritte, Jumpers, Travesties, Every Good Boy Deserves ...

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Travesties premiered at the Aldwych Theatre in a production by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London in June 1974 under the direction of Peter Wood.

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