The North American premiere of Tom Stoppard's Leopoldstadt, which was set arrive in Toronto after its 2020 world premiere at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising cases of the Omicron variant. Performances were scheduled to begin January 22, 2022, for a limited run at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
David Mirvish explained that new restrictions on capacity and non-essential travel advisories in Canada, along with expected border closing and quarantines, forced the show to cancel its plans. The show presenter added that he hopes to bring the play to Toronto at a later date. Another production, to be announced as soon as it has been contracted, will be added in its stead at the end of the seven-show 2021–2022 Mirvish main season subscription. Non-subscription patrons who hold tickets to Leopoldstadt will be contacted about their options for exchanges to other shows and refunds.
“Leopoldstadt is an enormous endeavor—a large-cast production with an opulent and lavish set, telling a story both epic and intimate by the finest playwright working today in the English language, and brought to life by a team of collaborators that includes some of the greatest talents in theatre,“ said Mirvish. “By programming it in 2022, almost two years from the start of the pandemic, we thought we would be protected from the vagaries of COVID-19 and would be able to present the play in Toronto in a relatively safe environment. More importantly, the health risks involved in bringing a company of more than 30 artists from the U.K. are too enormous at a time when there is more uncertainty than ever before in this pandemic.“
The Olivier-winning play, which premiered in London January 25, 2020, reunites Stoppard, director David Marber (Closer, Notes on a Scandal), and producer Sonia Friedman, who last collaborated on Travesties in 2017. Set over several decades in Vienna, Austria, following the lives of a singular extended family, the play explores the human condition and its resilience in the face of traumatic history before and after World War II. The drama played a return West End engagement at Wyndham's in August.