With a thirty-year run of award-winning, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful plays, from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) to The Invention of Love (1997), Tom Stoppard is arguably the preeminent playwright in Britain today. His popularity also extends to the United States, where his plays have won three Tony awards and his screenplay for Shakespeare in Love won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
John Fleming offers the first book-length assessment of Stoppard's work in nearly a decade. He takes an in-depth look at the three newest plays (Arcadia, Indian Ink, and The Invention of Love) and the recently revised versions of Travesties and Hapgood, as well as at four other major plays (Rosencrantz, Jumpers, Night and Day, and The Real Thing). Drawing on Stoppard's personal papers at the University of Texas Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC), Fleming also examines Stoppard's previously unknown play Galileo, as well as numerous unpublished scripts and variant texts of his published plays.
Fleming also mines Stoppard's papers for a fuller, more detailed overview of the evolution of his plays. By considering Stoppard's personal views (from both his correspondence and interviews) and by examining his career from his earliest scripts and productions through his most recent, this book provides all that is essential for understanding and appreciating one of the most complex and distinctive playwrights of our time.
"The fullest and most complete analysis of Stoppard’s works from their first presentations to later revivals, this book is a must for anyone contemplating a production of any of Stoppard’s plays. Strongly recommended for college and university libraries and for theater professionals."
". . . a thoughtful and well-considered appreciation of Stoppard’s theatrical work. . . . It will be of value to directors as well as to theater instructors and playwriting classes."
". . . a clear, readable and eminently useful account of Stoppard’s work for the stage."