Richard Easton and Robert Sean Leonard play poet A.E. Housman as an old man and a young one in Tom Stoppard's latest play, The Invention of Love, which opened March 29 at the Lyceum Theatre.
The Invention of Love has as its central character the conservative, not to say dour, 19th century English poet and scholar A.E. Housman (1859-1936). Stoppard's story begins with Housman, old and infirm, dreaming he is dead and being ferried across the river Styx by the mythical boatman Charon. Housman is best known for his collection of poems titled "A Shropshire Lad." Through his melancholy, longing poetry—according to Invention of Love production notes—he expressed his lifelong unrequited passion for a fellow student at Oxford, Moses Jackson. Robert Sean Leonard and Richard Easton play Housman young and old, respectively.