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    a huge, vital story
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    epic and engrossing
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Leopoldstadt tickets

Stoppard's intimate, multi-generational masterpiece

Playwright Tom Stoppard returns to the West End with his most personal work yet, Leopoldstadt. Inspired by his Jewish heritage, this passionate, heart-breaking drama follows one family’s journey across the tumultuous first half of the 20th century.

Vienna in 1900 was a thriving, vibrant place for the Jewish population, who escaped pogroms and oppression to converge on Leopoldstadt. But amidst freedom and prosperity, the rise of fascism across Europe was heralding a new era of violence.

Leopoldstadt is directed by Patrick Marber (Travesties) and features a cast of 24, with actors playing numerous roles in one family over the course of 50 years. 

Tom Stoppard is one of the UK’s most prolific and celebrated playwrights. His debut play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1966), remains a huge cultural touchstone in British theatre. 

Marking the return of a legendary writer at the height of his skills, Leopoldstadt tickets offer both an intimate portrait of one family and an epic story about oppression, injustice and faith. It plays in the West End for a limited season.

Performance dates: 29 Oct 2021 - 30 Oct 2021

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (no interval)

Age recommendation: Best for age 12+

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Latest audience reviews

Before the show, old black and white photos are displayed on the screen - I was soon to start wishing... More

u2fancat Top 200 reviewer07 Feb 2020

Before the show, old black and white photos are displayed on the screen - I was soon to start wishing that I had sat just a little closer, to get a better look. Because this is a rather epic tale, of a wealthy Jewish family living in Vienna - Leopoldstadt is the traditionally Jewish district of the city. And the story takes us through several decades.. You think you know what's coming as a result, and you're right. But the story starts in 1899, with the prosperous family enjoying Christmas (there's assimilation for you - they have Christian in-laws anyway) in a well-appointed room, complete with sumptuous furnishings, and a lovely Christmas tree in the corner. Things move quite slowly as we have explained to us what it's like to be Jewish and ambitious in this society, where discrimination has been removed from the lawbooks, but not from people's attitudes - casual antisemitism is to be found everywhere. This message isn't delivered in a hectoring way - the genius of it is to base everything around actual events in the life of a family that is quite realistic, and entertaining. And I must say, this part of the play looks beautiful - just like a period drama on the telly. 1900 rolls around, the Christmas tree is missing, and the story has moved on a bit - but since the interval comes at the end of this time period, we were left wondering how much further the play would be able to advance! Fear not - it goes into overdrive in the second half. We jump to 1924, 1938, 1955.. and in each scene, we get a decent idea of what's happening on the national stage, as well as a graphic description of what's happening to the family. There's a huge cast, by the way - not only do they play several different family members, but at different ages too. Again, I wished I'd been able to see the family tree better, when it had been projected onto the big screen! But it doesn't actually matter much who's who - you pick up on the family dynamics anyway. As the years advance, what the family must endure becomes gradually more awful. In sympathy, the stage becomes barer and barer.. and the action ramps up to a truly dreadful climax, visually striking and emotionally devastating, as past characters are brought back on stage in old-fashioned costumes, and we're told what happened to them. A very powerful play that highlights the suffering of one family.. and through that, tells the history of a country. The playwright has Czech roots himself, it seems - and his own family's experiences informed some of the events of this play. Very informative, for most of us - very highly recommended.

u2fancat Top 200 reviewer07 Feb 2020

It was good to see a large cast again after mainly seeing monologues and two-handers last year. Good... More

leepeddie 25 Sep 2021

It was good to see a large cast again after mainly seeing monologues and two-handers last year. Good to see a packed audience too. An engrossing and emotionally engaging play with themes that still resonate. The cast were all spot on and those whose characters visibly aged through the play all delivered convincing performances. A moving production, well worth seeing. Beware 2 hrs 10 without an interval - quite a few people got up for the loo during the performance and caused a lot of disturbance getting out and back along the cramped rows.

leepeddie 25 Sep 2021

So glad I saw this play. It commences in Vienna in 1899 and goes up to 1955 following a Jewish family.... More

mariabell Top 100 reviewer27 Feb 2020

So glad I saw this play. It commences in Vienna in 1899 and goes up to 1955 following a Jewish family. The good times and bad. There was complete silence at the end as, to me, it brought home the horrors or WW2. I would definitely recommend.

mariabell Top 100 reviewer27 Feb 2020

The latest Tom Stoppard play, and worth waiting for! The story of several generations of one extended... More

alisonb 07 Feb 2020

The latest Tom Stoppard play, and worth waiting for! The story of several generations of one extended Jewish family in Austria over 40 odd years was very well acted by a large cast. It was thought provoking and moving, but with laughs too. Gorgeous costumes, lighting and set design and I loved the occasional tableaux, reminiscent of old photographs, formed when the cast all appeared together on stage.

alisonb 07 Feb 2020

Well written story of a Jewish family hoping to assimilate into Viennese society at end of 19th century.... More

christined20 13 Mar 2020

Well written story of a Jewish family hoping to assimilate into Viennese society at end of 19th century. Continues for 50 years through the very darkest part of European history and beyond. Excellent production enhances the action.

christined20 13 Mar 2020

Tom Stoppard's last play (or so he says) features an enormous cast, portraying a Viennese Jewish family... More

stuartw13 09 Feb 2020

Tom Stoppard's last play (or so he says) features an enormous cast, portraying a Viennese Jewish family over a period of more than 50 years. As you would expect with a Stoppard play, particularly one on such an epic scale, it requires very close attention to keep abreast of a complex plot stuffed with ideas and historical detail. If you stay with it though, it has a powerful emotional payoff. It is also Stoppard's most personal play, more so than even The real Thing, and demonstrates the way in which late in life he has incorporated his own central European Jewish heritage into an identity that once seemed quintessentially English. I expect Stoppard fans to love it, and if it does turn out to be his last play then it is a fitting end to a scintillating career.

stuartw13 09 Feb 2020
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