Saturday, June 23, 2007

After anaesthetics and before television

Nina Raine on the Moscow rehearsals for the Russian production of Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia trilogy.

If I was a footloose and fancy-free millionnaire I would go and see these plays in Russia and not understand a word of them. I am an idiot not to have seen them in New York--everything mitigated against it, the fact that two of the last three Stoppard productions I saw in New York were awful, my reluctance on principle to spend several hundred dollars on theater-going (this is ridiculous, but I have gotten used to going to plays for free!), my state of stress about work that meant it seemed hard to give up a whole day or a weekend to theatergoing--but then in May when I was reading Anthony Grafton's piece in the NYRB one night when I was very tired and stressed out I almost burst into tears, I was so upset at having missed it! This is foolish, I do not believe in having regrets. I should just in any case get the book, that will be almost as good, I can use my imagination...

1 comment:

  1. I did see them and the first two were great (the third sort of superfluous, in my opinion). I have an essay in the fall issue of the Michigan Quarterly Review about these plays -- and Stoppard's work in general -- in comparison to David Hare & his last play, "The Vertical Hour."

    But the great thing about Stoppard is that reading the plays is just as rewarding as watching them. In fact, they are sometimes better on the page than on the stage because they're often so complicated. Buy the scripts! They're all over the place in NYC and guaranteed to be at the Barnes & Noble near the Lincoln Center.