Friday, March 20, 2015

Arcadia at The New Victoria Theatre

Woking. Friday 27-February-2015


Mary's very generous colleagues on a previous project gave her a theatre voucher as a leaving present. Spending it at West End prices and availability was a challenge but The New Victoria Theatre in Woking, where Mary works, was in the same theatre chain. So we booked seats to see what is often described as "Tom Stoppard's masterpiece".

I trained down to Woking to join Mary for an after work drink. The advantage of working for a brewery is that they have a free bar between 5 and 7 every evening! The selection is naturally limited but given that they are a global company there was still plenty of choice.

The foyer features a map of the world in beer:

After a quick beer we went for a bite to eat then on to the theatre - which was buried deep in a shopping and took some finding.

The play was fine and full of Stoppardian cultural pyrotechnics but you do have to pay attention:

BritishTheatre.Com (3 stars): "It is all fascinating and engaging material which, in other hands, might be as dry as dust, but Stoppard’s sparkling dialogue and deft, idiosyncratic characters enliven the whole affair. The elements fuse into theatrical alchemy – about as close to pure joy as it comes in modern writing." Full review...

I was lucky enough to have seen the original 1993 National Theatre production starring Felicity Kendall - a play which The Telegraph thinks may be "the greatest play of our age".

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