We follow playwright, Henry (Stephen Dillane) through two marriages, both to actresses. The first wife is Charlotte (Sarah Woodward), a sardonic and slightly sour character. The second is Annie (Jennifer Ehle), an altogether sweeter prospect played by this most attractive actor with a delicacy of touch.
Ehle is perfect as the nicely brought up girl getting a sexual frisson from associating with the kind of man she has not come across before, with prison and injustice to add to the fascinating mix.
It is all very clever and funny, making you laugh again and again. Stoppard is never predictable. Some scenes end in a clever twist and others seem to follow an anarchic trail; for example, Annie, whilst trying to raise Henry's musical appreciation from hits of the Sixties to something more esoteric, sets him an opera quiz, asking him what she is playing:
Henry - Strauss?
Annie - No, it can't be Strauss. It's in Italian
Henry - Ah, then -- Verdi
Annie - Which one?
Henry - Giuseppe (he says looking really pleased with himself)
Dillane and Ehle act each other off the stage -- Dillane with his wonderful timing and expression, Ehle with her sincerity and sex appeal.
Another review from The Wolf Entertainment Guide:
We're particularly fortunate that Jennifer Ehle is playing Annie. She is a strong match for Dillane's Henry, fiercely defending her social action commitment of wanting to appear in a play written by the Scottish prisoner (Joshua Henderson) who she believes has been unjustly incarcerated. Henry amusingly mocks the play in one of his best speeches. Ehle conveys Annie's streak of independence, her willingness to lie to protect the relationship with Henry, the one she really cares about, and she also projects an earthy, playful sexuality that suggests volatility. The teaming of Dillane and Ehle is enough of attraction, but the rest of the cast is also excellent, including Sarah Woodward, Nigel Lindsay, Charlotte Parry, Oscar Pearce and the aforementioned Henderson. They work together with precision and seeming ease.