Arcadia by by Tom Stoppard
A Play

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 15 Critic Reviews



Minimal shelfwear. DJ very good w/ scuffed upper corner and small tear top of spine. No markings. Pages are clean and bright. Binding is tight.

About by Tom Stoppard

See more books from this Author
When the National Theatre needed a last-minute substitute for a canceled production of As You Like It, Kenneth Tynan decided to stage Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a work by an unfamiliar author that had received discouraging notices from provincial critics at its Edinburgh Festival debut. Of course, the play, when it opened in April 1967, met with universal acclaim. In New York the next year, it was chosen best play by the Drama Critics Circle. In such an unlikely way, Tom Stoppard came to light. Born in Czechoslovakia, a country he left (for Singapore) when he was an infant, he began his literary career as a journalist in Bristol, where play reviewing led to playwriting. After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard's reputation suffered through the production of a number of minor works, whose intellectual preoccupations were shrugged off by reviewers: Enter a Free Man (1968; "an adolescent twinge of a play," N.Y. Times), The Real Inspector Hound (1968; "lightweight," N.Y. Times), and After Magritte. But in the 1970s, the initial enthusiasms aroused by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were more than vindicated by the production of two full-length plays, Jumpers (1974) and the antiwar play Travesties (1975), whose immense verbal and theatrical inventiveness made them absolute successes on both sides of the Atlantic. Stoppard's method from the start has been to contrive explanations for highly unlikely encounters---of objects (the ironing board, old lady, and bowler hat of After Magritte), characters (Joyce, Lenin, and Tzara in Travesties), and even plays (Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, and The Real Thing, 1982). In the 1970s, Tynan called for Stoppard---as a Czech and as an artist---to engage himself politically. But although political subjects have since found their way into pieces from Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (1977) to Squaring the Circle (1985), politics and art seem to have become just two more of the playwright's irreconcilables, which meet, but never join, in the logical frames of his comedy. The presence of political material---such as the Lenin sections that nearly ruin the second part of Travesties---has occasionally strained the structure of the plays. But in The Real Thing Stoppard is comfortable enough with the satire on art and activism to bring a third subject, love, into the mix. Stoppard has acknowledged his Eastern European heritage nonpolitically, in a series of adaptations of plays by Arthur Schnitzler (see Vol. 2), Johann Nestroy, and Ferenc Molnar.
Published January 1, 1993 by Faber & Faber. 144 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Arcadia

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

At the center of "Arcadia" is a mystery that is the consuming passion of a contemporary literary don, Bernard Nightingale (Victor Garber): did Lord Byron, while visiting Lord and Lady Croom at Sidley Park in 1809, fight a duel in which he killed a grossly untalented poet, Ezra Chater, over the ho...

Mar 31 1995 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In modern times, popular author Hanna Jarvis (Kate Burton) and university professor and Lord Byron devotee Bernard Nightingale (Gregory Itzin) converge at Sidley Park as they work to unravel the truth about the mysterious events of 1809 and its ramifications for literary history.

Nov 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

The Washington Post

If there were a speed limit on ideas, Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" would have had its license permanently revoked.

| Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

The Washington Post

The worlds of 1809 and the present day dance with each other as magically in Aaron Posner's new staging of "Arcadia" as they did a decade and a half ago, at the birth of Tom Stoppard's enchanting play.

May 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

The New Yorker

Subscribers can read the full version of this story by logging into our digital archive.

Mar 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

Las Vegas Review Journal

If you've seen the Oscar-winning "Shakespeare in Love" - or if you're planning to see the "Anna Karenina" adaptation scheduled to hit movie theaters today - you know Tom Stoppard's work.

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

Austin Chronicle

Ciccolella believes audiences will find that the conclusion of her company's production "isn't as sad as usual," but by downplaying Arcadia's tragedy, the production does the play a disservice.

Feb 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

The Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK -- The ideas leap off the stage in Tom Stoppard's multilayered 1993 play, but in David Leveaux's stubbornly unaffecting production, his ensemble keeps pace with the intellectual dexterity while under-serving the material's heart.

Mar 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

Project MUSE

For these characters, the acting was more "realistic," with Graham Beckel giving a tour de force performance of Bernard Nightingale as a bear of a don, stopping at nothing on his way toward intellectual and moral embarrassment -- an inversion of the role played by Thomasina's tutor.

| Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

Project MUSE

The breadth and scope of his oeuvre are astonishing, from straightforward, realistic plays of epic dimensions (e.g., the trilogy The Coast of Utopia [2002]) to comedic and brainy plays of ideas like Arcadia (1993), probably one of the most discussed plays in recent theatre history.

| Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

News Review.

The Sacramento Public Library has been hosting some delightfully literate lectures in their Notable Books series so far, but the topic turns to theater with the subject for the next two sessions: Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.

Oct 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

The Paris Review

To win, make like Ezra Chater in The Couch of Eros and wax poetic on the immortal question, “Does Carnal Embrace Addle the Brain?” Keep your lines to a couplet, but in true Stoppardian fashion, let your imagination run wild: anything from the impending Kardashian nuptials to Kate Wood’s philosoph...

May 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play


(© Carol Rosegg) A strong argument can be made that Arcadia is Tom Stoppard's best play, and that perception will only be reinforced by David Leveaux's revival at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, which is as close to perfection as the most discriminating viewer might want.

Mar 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

The Berkshire Review

Operating The Berkshire Review and New York Arts costs money, and contributions will be vital in our continuing work.

Aug 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

In his rush to publish, cocksure egotist Bernard (Dan Granata) wildly misinterprets the facts as they play out in the earlier century, while the pragmatic Hannah (a terrific Marsha Harman) finds her search for an elusive historical hermit becoming improbably enlaced with Bernard’s Byronic quest.

May 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Arcadia: A Play

Reader Rating for Arcadia

An aggregated and normalized score based on 64 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review