LEOPOLDSTADT – the Olivier Award-winning new ‘masterwork’ (Evening Standard) by Tom Stoppard opened to overwhelming critical acclaim in early 2020, playing seven weeks of sold-out performances, before being temporarily shut down. Since then, the grand Viennese apartment on Wyndham's stage has waited for a great reawakening, as audiences eagerly anticipate the return of LEOPOLDSTADT. Now, Stoppard's ‘unforgettable play from the heart’ (The Telegraph) re-opens in the West End, June 2021.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna. But Hermann Merz, a manufacturer and baptised Jew married to Catholic Gretl, has moved up in the world. Gathered in the Merz apartment in a fashionable part of the city, Hermann’s extended family are at the heart of Tom Stoppard’s epic yet intimate drama. By the time we have taken leave of them, Austria has passed through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and – for Austrian Jews – the Holocaust in which 65,000 of them were murdered. It is for the survivors to pass on a story which hasn’t ended yet.
A ‘masterpiece’ (Independent) directed by Patrick Marber, LEOPOLDSTADT is Tom Stoppard’s most humane and heart-breaking play. Don’t miss it.
Cast photography from original London production.
Tell Me More
Tom Stoppard’s highly anticipated play “Leopoldstadt” makes its worldwide premiere on the West End in January 2020. The play was inspired by Stoppard’s own life and discovering his heritage and family’s Czech roots. The playwright was born Tomáš Straussler in former Czechoslovakia, but his family fled to Singapore when the Nazi’s invaded. After living in India for a brief period of his childhood, Stoppard moved to England in 1946 with his mother and brother. After his mother’s death, he returned to Zlín in the Czech Republic in the hope of learning more about his family’s history, and he discovered that his grandparents and the majority of their generation died in concentration camps. The playwright has stated that “that visit accounted for this play,” which takes place in the Jewish Quarter, Leopoldstadt, Vienna in 1900 and over 50 years it follows a Jewish family through the early 20th century.
What To Watch For
- Tom Stoppard’s career as a playwright has spanned over 50 years. The writer’s highly acclaimed “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” made its debut in the Old Vic in 1967.
- Stoppard has since had a string of successful plays which include “Arcadia” and “Travesties,” all of which are written with ambition, ideas, and wit.
- “Leopoldstadt” features a large cast of over 35 actors and a creative team including director Patrick Marber.
2 hours 35 minutes