Drawing: Tom Stoppard

Britain’s greatest living playwright, Sir Tom Stoppard has two major revivals of his on London stages at the moment. The Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of TRAVESTIES has transferred to the Apollo and the 50th anniversary of ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD has returned to its origins at the Old Vic, where I meet the Oscar, Tony and Olivier and many more Award winner last Saturday evening before the opening performance. In a recent interview with the Guardian’s Andrew Dickson, the nearly eighty-year old was asked if he recognised himself as the person who wrote the absurdist riff on Shakespeare’s HAMLET? “I remember him well,” he said. “Some of the writing is a little dandy-esque, as he was. At the time I attached more importance to the joys of receiving the right words in the right order, probably too little importance to the motor that kept the wheels turning.” He admits not being able to give both plays a ‘little more oomph’…a few small changes to freshen them up. in 1979, when Maggie Thatcher was elected PM, Sir Tom labelled himself a conservative with a small ‘c’. I am a conservative in politics, literature. education and theatre.” In 2007 he called himself a ‘timid libertarian.’ He answered “yes” when asked if he still smoked, adding with a grin,”…but I’ve got nothing intelligent to say that justifies my position. I don’t have one. I just smoke.”  This is what I could call my ‘Sir Tom ciggy with a siggy sketch.’

 

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