Theatre at Washington: ‘The Real Thing’

Special to the Rappahannock News
Two of Georgetown University’s best student theater companies bring their joint production of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” to the Theatre at Washington on Feb. 6-7.

“The Real Thing” was originally produced in London in 1982 and came to Broadway in 1984, where it won several Tony awards. British playwright Tom Stoppard began his literary career as a journalist and drama critic and started writing plays for radio and television programs in the early 1960s. His first major success was the well-known comedy “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” which opened in 1967. Over the next several decades he published another 23 plays and wrote and co-wrote several screenplays, including that for the 1998 film “Shakespeare in Love,” for which he won the Academy Award for best original screenplay.

“Passion is not usually what one looks for amid the intellectual and verbal gymnastics that make Tom Stoppard’s writing so stimulating,” said a review of “The Real Thing” in the Los Angeles Times, “but that’s what drives ‘The Real Thing’ . . . .” A San Francisco Chronicle review explained that “in this anatomy of an emotionally naive playwright and the marital maneuvers in the theater world around him, Stoppard brings head and heart, life and art together in an exhilarating way.”

And Sheridan Morley, the famous reviewer for the British journal The Spectator, summed up the play this way: “’The Real Thing’ turns out to be . . . a play which reminds you why you go to the theatre and why you fall in love. And why, just sometimes, it is all worth the effort.”

Tickets for the performances — at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday — are $15 for adults, $5 for those 17 and younger. Seating is reserved. To make reservations, or get a copy of the Theatre’s new spring schedule: call (540) 675-1253 or visit

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