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Leopoldstadt (play)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Poster for Leopoldstadt by Tom Stoppard.png
Written byTom Stoppard
Date premiered25 January 2020
Place premieredWyndham's Theatre
Original languageEnglish
SubjectHistory, Jewish life, The Holocaust, antisemitism
SettingVienna during first half of the 20th century from 1899 to 1955

Leopoldstadt is a play by Sir Tom Stoppard which had its premiere on 25 January 2020 at Wyndham's Theatre in London. Patrick Marber, who worked with Stoppard on the revival of Travesties in London and New York, is directing and commented that "It’s a big company play which as a director is incredibly exciting to do. It’s got the lot.”[1]

The play is set among the Jewish community of Vienna in the first half of the 20th century and follows the lives of "a prosperous Jewish family who had fled the pogroms in the East".[2] According to Stoppard the play "took a year to write, but the gestation was much longer. Quite a lot of it is personal to me, but I made it about a Viennese family so that it wouldn’t seem to be about me.” Stoppard discovered in the early 1990s that his four grandparents had been Jewish and died in Nazi concentration camps.[3] The second preview performance, on Monday 27 January 2020, was on Holocaust Memorial Day and members of the audience were each given a memorial candle as they left the theatre.[4]

The production's set design is by Richard Hudson, costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting by Neil Austin, sound, original music by Adam Cork and movement by EJ Boyle. The 41 actors performing were cast by Amy Ball (adults) and Verity Naughton (children); Leopoldstadt is also the sixth collaboration between Sonia Friedman Productions and Tom Stoppard.[5] The initial cast list was announced on 25 October 2019[6] and includes Adrian Scarborough, Luke Thallon and Stoppard's son, Ed.[7]

During rehearsals Marber "instituted a fabulous regime of lectures" given by cast members, allotting each a subject relevant to the play's themes to investigate.[7]

On 25 October 2020 Leopoldstadt won the Olivier Award for American Airlines' Best New Play,[8] Adrian Scarborough won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role.[9]


Michael Billington called Leopoldstadt a "deeply moving play" in The Oldie.[10]

Awards and nominations

Original West End production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2020 Laurence Olivier Award[11] Best New Play Won
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Adrian Scarborough Won


  1. ^ Nathan, John (26 June 2019). "Tom Stoppard's first Jewish play announced". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  2. ^ Maxwell, Dominic (29 June 2019). "Leopoldstadt, Tom Stoppard's new play". The Times. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  3. ^ Brown, Mark (26 June 2019). "Jewish district inspires Tom Stoppard in 'personal' new play". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  4. ^ "We were given these memorial candles as we left the performance of Tom Stoppard's  #Leopoldstadt. A particularly poignant date to see this powerful and personal play". Twitter. 27 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Leopoldstadt in the West End: first look at Tom Stoppard's new play in rehearsals". WhatsOnStage. 14 January 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Leopoldstadt initial cast to include Adrian Scarborough and Luke Thallon". WhatsOnStage. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b Jays, David (28 January 2020). "'My surname was an albatross': Ed Stoppard on starring in his dad's new play". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  8. ^ Olivier Awards (25 October 2020). "Tweet from Olivier Awards announcing the winner of Best New Play". Twitter. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  9. ^ Olivier Awards (25 October 2020). "Tweet from Olivier Awards announcing the winner of Best Actor in a Supporting Role". Twitter. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  10. ^ Billington, Michael. "Michael Billington - Soppy old Stoppard". The Oldie. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard - Theatre's Biggest Night". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 26 October 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 14:57
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