Memory is a device championed by writers of various forms of literature to allow character and situations to be explored within a subconscious reality that can stray from the path or realism and formality create an effective tapestry for narrative and thematic development. Read more
Tom Stoppard’s dazzling comedy of art, love and revolution features James Joyce, Tristan Tzara and Lenin as remembered - and misremembered - by Henry Carr, a minor British diplomat in Zurich 1917. Following a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory the production transferred to the Apollo Theatre in London's West End in February 2017.
Travesties was originally presented at the Aldwych Theatre in London's West End in June 1974 in a production by the Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Peter Wood. The play ran for 156 performances, eventually closing on 13 March 1976 after transferring to the Albery Theatre and later the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Broadway. The original cast included John Wood, John Hurt, Tom Bell and Frank Windsor. The RSC revised the play in 1993 for a production at the Barbican Theatre directed by Adrian Noble which went on to transfer to the Savoy Theatre where it ran to June 1994.
The play won a host of awards including the 1976 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play, the Tony Award for Best Play and the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.
Patrick Marber directs this brand new production directed from the Menier Chocolate Factory which features design by Tim Hatley, lighting design by Neil Austin, and sound design and original music by Adam Cork. The revival stars Tom Hollander as Henry Carr alongside Amy Morgan as Gwendolen, Freddie Fox as Tristan Tzara, Clare Foster and Forbes Masson.
The revival received strong reviews from critics who praised both the production and the cast: "Tom Hollander is hilarious in this mind-bogglingly entertaining Stoppard revival" (Telegraph); "Marber’s ace production revels in the play’s riotous plenty" (Independent); "an enduring, life-enhancing play that brims with intellectual gaiety" (Guardian).
Book your tickets for Travesties at the Apollo Theatre now.
Travesties is primarily set in Zürich, Switzerland during the First World War. An English consular official, Henry Carr is living in the city alongside a collection of intriguing personalities which include the communist revolutionary Lenin, the founder of Dada Tristan Tzara, and Irish author James Joyce. Carr begins to recall his memories and experiences of living in the city amongst these figures, but as he thinks about his time amongst them the characters themselves become muddled in his mind.
His main memory is a production of Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest in which he starred as one of the main characters, and situations from the plot of the play become muddled in his thoughts of art, revolution and war. Two characters from Wilde's play, Gwendolen and Cecily appear to share their situations with the half remembered figures, and Stoppard's play becomes a twisted array of parody, vaudeville, comedy and drama.