A serious comedy about science, sex and landscape gardening.
Arcadia- An exuberantly funny, thought- provoking and touching masterpiece which has dazzled audiences from the National Theatre to Broadway.
1809: Lust, longing and literary rivalry seize the inhabitants of Sidley Park, a grand house in Derbyshire, where proposals for the remodelling of the landscape are being contemplated. In the midst of this, the teenage Thomasina Coverly is making a scientific discovery that could change the way people understand the world.
The present: Rivalry once again seizes the inhabitants of Sidley Park, as academics Bernard and Hannah compete to unpick the historic secrets of the estate and its earlier occupants. Who was the mysterious hermit? Do the scrawlings in a young lady’s notebook show her to be a scientific genius. What- if anything was Lord Byron up to?
Directing Arcadia in Giles Croft’s 15th year as Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse; is a timely tribute to both the play and Giles’ anniversary year.
Speaking of when he first heard of the play, Giles said: “I came across Arcadia in 1992. I will have been one of the very first people ever to have read it, because at that time I was the Literary Manager at the National Theatre. Tom Stoppard submitted the play to us for consideration. In my opinion it’s an intellectually stimulating play, a good story- a piece of detective fiction, and emotionally very engaging.”
Nottingham Playhouse’s Arcadia will also see two further connections from the original National Theatre production. David Bark-Jones who plays Bernard Nightingale was an understudy in the original staging and Mark Jonathan will once again be lighting Arcadia, this time for Nottingham Playhouse.
Linbury Prize Winner, Madeline Girling, designed the set for both Arcadia and Time and the Conways and said: “I’m so excited to be working in this theatre, with such brilliantly skilled people, and fantastic resources. It will have been over a year since my journey designing both sets began to finally see them come to life in this beautiful theatre is very special.”
Full casting has now been announced:
Emily Laing- Thomasina Coverly
Parth Thakerar- Septimas Hodge
Mark Jardine- Jellaby/Richard Noaks
James Thorne- Ezra Chater
Lizzy McInnerny- Lady Croom
Robin Kingsland- Capt. Brice, RN
Teresa Banham- Hannah Jarvis
Florence Roberts- Chloe Coverly
David Bark-Jones- Bernard Nightingale
Ilan Goodman- Valentine Coverly
Jacob Seelochan- Gus Coverly/Augustus Coverly
Arcadia rounds off Nottingham Playhouse’s ‘Time and Memory’ season. Three plays by British writers that all use two time frames to explore the impact of the past on the present. In October Nottingham Playhouse and The Belgrade Theatre Coventry presented Propaganda Swing, a new play by Peter Arnott, and in September Fiona Buffini’s Time and the Conways led the Autumn 2014 season.