Stoppard’s Rock 'n' Roll Extends In West End

News   Stoppard’s Rock 'n' Roll Extends In West End Tom Stoppard’s new play Rock ‘n’ Roll has extended its run at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre by six weeks to Nov. 5.
Playwright Tom Stoppard
Playwright Tom Stoppard Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Just as with her revival of Frayn’s Donkeys’ Years, which has also announced an extended run in the West End, producer Sonia Friedman is working to bring about a Broadway production of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The extension of Stoppard’s play also takes in a change of cast with David Calder (Five Gold Rings, Conversations After a Burial, The Little Foxes taking over from Brian Cox in the role of Max beginning Sept. 26.

Trevor Nunn’s production of Rock ‘n’ Roll was presented as part of the Royal Court’s 50th anniversary season. The starry first-night audience included Vaclav Havel, Czechoslovakia’s leading playwright, dissident and, after the Velvet Revolution, the country's first president. Also present was Mick Jagger, whose Rolling Stones music is featured in the play along with many other iconic bands.

In the play, rock music represents the freedom of expression that communism sought to stifle. Stoppard’s hero is Jan, played by Rufus Sewell, a music-loving Czech student under the tutelage of Cambridge academic Max. Max comes under pressure to reassess his commitment to communism following Russia’s 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. The cast also includes Sinead Cusack, who plays both Max’s wife Eleanor and their daughter Esme.

Sewell’s theatrical credits include Osborne’s Luther and Stoppard’s Arcadia, both for the National Theatre, a West End production of Macbeth and Rat in the Skull at the Royal Court.

Cusack’s stage work includes LaBute’s The Mercy Seat, the title role in Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth for the RSC and Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind for the Donmar.

For more on Rock ‘n’ Roll, which is booking until Sept. 24, call (0)870 060 6623.

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