2013: Two by Stoppard

As an initial matter, I feel like I should say that I am writing this a little exhausted (and without my mom) and strung out, so if my prose is less than what it is at is best, please excuse me!

Tom Stoppard is my very very favorite playwright, and I've been lucky enough to see many of his plays in person - either during my college term in London (during which going to the theater was basically my only hobby), or in rep where ever I can.  I've gone and bought a ton, too, - it's not quite the same to read a play as to see one, but it's still great because Stoppard is such a tremendous writer (see also, Tony Kushner's Angels in America).  So if you haven't seen, Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, or Arcadia, or either of the two I'm talking about below, I recommend them. And if Stoppard is playing near you, GO.

"I would have died for you, but I never had the luck."

The Invention of Love

The Invention of Love is my one of my very very favorite plays, and I saw it when it originally opened at the National Theater in London, so I feel a little ownership in it, too.  It's about the poet, A.E. Houseman, looking back on his life - how he was in love with a friend, but instead of passion chose a life of a scholar and a poet.  I'm not describing it as it is - its about yearning, and life choices, and art, and closeted homosexuality at the turn of the century.  And there is poems, and Oscar Wilde, and art and I love it.  It's pretty eggheady, but them, so am I.  And, it made me go out and buy A Shropshire Lad, and read.  And you should do that too. They are morbid and about beautiful death, but they are beautiful and sad too, and worth knowing. 

"He would not stay for me, and who can wonder?

  He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.

I shook his hand, and tore my heart in sunder,

  And went with half my life about my ways."

Gorgeous, no?

The Real Thing

The Real Thing is about love, and the nature of honesty.  It's about adultery and art, and all that jazz - you know, just the little stuff.  I saw the revival with Jennifier Ehle and Stephen Dillane in New York, which was tremendous, and I heard that Ewan MacGregor is going to play it next year - we should all buy tickets.  I don't love it quite as much The Invention of Love cause it doesn't hit my nerd buttons quite as hard, but it's great, too.  Witty, and also about something real - what is love and what makes a marriage.  Love it.


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017