Stoppard’s latest play premiered at London’s Royal Court on June 14 (previews started June 3), finishing its run on July 15.
The production, directed by Trevor Nunn, 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 was 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 (Brian Cox). 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.
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.
Cox’s Royal Court appearances include In Celebration, Cromwell, Rat in the Skull and, most recently, McPherson’s Dublin Carol in 2000. He’s also well known for the films “Match Point,” "Troy,” “X-Men” and “The Bourne Supremacy."
For more on Rock 'N' Roll, which is booking until Sept. 24, call (0)870 060 6623.