Vienna in 1900 was a thriving and vibrant place for the Jewish population. After being granted full rights by Emperor Franz Josef a century earlier, thousands of people fled pogroms and oppression in the East to converge on the old Jewish quarter, Leopoldstadt. As freedom gave life to prosperity, however, the rise of fascism across Europe was heralding a new era of violence. Stoppard’s play focuses on one family across multi-generations, as they rediscover what it means to be Jewish over the course of 50 years.
Leopoldstadt features a cast of 24 including Adrian Scarborough, Dorothea Myer Bennett, Natalie Law, Sam Hoare, Mark Edel-Hunt, Jenna Augen and Caroline Gruber.
Tom Stoppard is one of the UK’s most prolific and celebrated playwrights, whose debut, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1966), remains a huge cultural touchstone in British theatre. He won the Olivier Award for Best New Play for Arcadia in 1994, and an Academy Award for his work on Shakespeare in Love (1998). Leopoldstadt is his first play since 2015’s The Hard Problem.
The play is directed by Patrick Marber, who is best-known as the screenwriter of Closer (2004). He has previously directed Stoppard’s work in a revival of Travesties at Menier Chocolate Factory in 2016; the production later transferred to the Apollo Theatre in 2017. Leopoldstadt is produced by Sonia Friedman (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), with other creatives to be confirmed.
Both an intimate portrait of one family and an epic story about oppression, injustice and faith, Leopoldstadt at Wyndham’s Theatre opens for a limited season on 25 January 2020.
Important informationPlaying at: Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DA
Performance dates: 12 Jun 2021 - 04 Sep 2021
Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes (including interval)
Age restrictions: Recommended 12+. All persons aged under 16 must be accompanied and sat next to the accompanying adult. They may not sit on their own within the auditorium. If children do have separate seats, entry could be refused.
Special notice: Any fans of Stoppard shouldn’t hesitate to secure tickets for his first play in five years. With some autobiographical elements and a reportedly large cast, Leopoldstadt will be a truly epic and hard-hitting production on the West End.