Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sydney Theatre Company and HWL Ebsworth Lawyers present

by Tom Stoppard

As the First World War raged throughout Europe, three of the most acute minds of the Twentieth Century – James Joyce, Tristan Tzara and Lenin – sought sanctuary in Zurich.

Enter Henry Carr. Minor British Consul official. Dedicated follower of fashion. Shameless self promoter. Performer in Joyce’s 1917 amateur production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Told from the perspective of this historical non-entity, Carr – comforted by the passage of time and the vagaries of memory – (inaccurately) places himself at the centre of events, elevating his own importance in a period of intellectual invigoration and rigor; a time filled with the promise of cultural and social transformation.

In this classic comedy, Tom Stoppard juxtaposes the ridiculous pomposity of the brilliantly unremarkable Henry Carr against the exuberance and wit of some of the greatest talents of the last century. This is Stoppard at his best: a medley of debates pertaining to literature, philosophy, history and politics, spun from dialogue that glistens with language games, puns and wit.

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