One could hardly accuse the Lincoln Centre of lack of ambition in its decision to revive The Coast of Utopia, Stoppard's trilogy about the 19th-century philosophers, intellectuals and writers who sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution. Wisely, it is opening the three parts separately, rather than over a single exhausting day as happened at the NT. And Jack O'Brien's stylish production of the first play, Voyage, with Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke and Jennifer Ehle among an outstanding cast, is fleeter, more lucid and more involving than Trevor Nunn's staging at the National.
You still need to concentrate, hard, to follow the numerous characters through their mental and emotional journeys, and I still think Stoppard may have bitten off more than his audience can chew with this massively demanding epic. Nevertheless there is something downright heroic about the dramatist's refusal to dumb down, and the humanity, wisdom and wit of his writing shine like good deeds in a naughty world.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Bon "Voyage" Tina!
Your blog is in (sort of) capable hands. I'll try anyway. The Telegraph thinks this version of Voyage is better than in London.