HONORS PS – Physics in the Plays of Tom Stoppard. Hapgood Plot Summary. Act 1, Scene 1. Some years ago Joseph Kerner. Tom Stoppard’s thrilling comic espionage story of a female British spymaster, examining motherhood, quantum mechanics, and the dualities of personality and . ​When Tom Stoppard’s spy thriller ‘Hapgood’ premiered in , it was called ‘ incomprehensible’. Even the opening stage direction is three.

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His work has possible applications in former US president Ronald Reagan’s nutty money-burning pet project, nicknamed “Star Wars” the so-called “Strategic Defense Initiative”. Newton realizes that Hapgood’s son, Joe, is in danger. I don’t find that to be the case too often and certainly not here.

This short play opens in the men’s changing room of a gym, and we quickly get a sense of what kind of tricks Stoppard will be playing on us in Hapgood as multiple people engage in an elaborate process of arriving, putting a briefcase under a changing stall door, moving a towel from This was so much fun!

They can’t afford to lose. A cat’s life isn’t at stake, but he does a lot of sending two characters into an unseen space and otherwise obscuring themand making us guess which one of the two we’re seeing. I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? In the opinion of the complete review the original edition is in every way superior, and it is that edition that our review is largely based on. Hapgood tells Merryweather to drain the swimming pool to see what can be found.

He promises, “If she’s set me up I’ll kill her. Hapgood notices Kerner’s continued presence and with new enthusiasm roots for her son. I wasn’t sure a spy story would work in play form, but it was well done.

This play is introduced with a quotation from Richard Feynman. In fact, as will be revealed in Scene 6, it contains a radio transmitter, but the box is sealed with an open once-only seal. In his bruised interview with Billington after those scolding opening notices, Stoppard both clarified and confused matters by asserting that a crash course in Einstein and Heisenberg is unnecessary: Justin rated it it was amazing Jun 19, Because all of the rolls of film looked alike, all of the film had to be removed from the briefcase to be sure of removing the incriminating evidence.


Ridley is planning a switch, so if somebody is setting him up he will not be caught with the incriminating computer disk with the Star Wars secrets. Blair also reveals that a radioactive spray was added to the briefcase and should have marked the person who opened it.

Jan 29, Patrick Nichols rated it liked it. Hapgood surrenders the computer disk to Blair, and Blair and Kerner leave Hapgood’s office. Weird how the brain works Ridley goes to the photographic studio of Mrs.

Hapgood and Blair meet outside St. Kerner is a Russian defector, now in the employ of the British secret service, working as a double or triple? There is, eventually, a clever solution, deftly presented, but there is also an awful lot of involuted action along the way.

I think my I might have a higher opinion of ton if I had seen it performed. Dec 07, Bethany rated it it was ok. So will British critics who are re-reviewing the play think, like uncertain physicists, that they are seeing hapgold different?

Read before seeing staged reading at ACT. It falls to Hapgood, an extraordinary British With his characteristically brilliant wordplay and extraordinary scope, Tom Stoppard has in Hapgood devised a play that “spins an end-of-the-cold-war tale of intrigue and betrayal, interspersed with explanations of the quixotic behavior of the electron and the puzzling properties of light” David Richards, The New York Times. A production at the Birmingham Repertory theatre inwith Josie Toom as the spymistress, was admiringly received, but the version that has just opened at Hampstead theatre, directed by Howard Davies, is the first mainstream London revival since the premiere 27 years ago.

I hesitate to say this because I’m not nearly enough of a mathematician or whatever it involvesbut Stoppard seems to me to be playing with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, doing as much as he can give us the feeling of watching it work.

Finally, Ridley realizes that Mrs. Hapgood introduces Joe to Kerner, “another Joe. In a series of interviews collected in Tom Stoppard: Paperback96 pages.

Electron particles, doubles, motherhood, espionage and trust entwined at the end of the cold war. I’d love to see this staged, but reading it gives a ton of valuable context. Published September 30th by Farrar, Straus and Giroux first published Blair deliberately chose photos that were not sent to Moscow by Ridley Blair could tell because of how the photos were taken.


Sep 06, Frank rated it liked it Shelves: This short play opens in the men’s changing room of a gym, and we quickly get a sense of what kind of tricks Stoppard will be playing on us in Hapgood as multiple people engage in an elaborate process of arriving, putting a briefcase under a changing stall door, moving a towel from one door to another, and then closing themselves into another stall.

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Hapgood review – Stoppard’s spy drama infiltrates hearts and minds | Stage | The Guardian

It becomes much clearer on a second read and I imagine would benefit from even a third and fourth pass through. Ridley remembers that Ridley was involved when agents in previous assignments were killed in Athens and Paris Ganchev. Hapgood is terribly clever, and sometimes the cleverness gets in the way of the proceedings.

Enjoyed the staging, but guilty of reading too intermittently – needs to be read in one sitting.

Hapgood: A Play

At the time, I wondered if Stoppard had picked up the name, deliberately or subliminally, from Anyone Can Whistlea musical co-written by his friend Stephen Sondheim, which contains the character of a brilliant logician called Hapgood, who approaches a deduction by dividing people into two groups.

Christopher’s School where Hapood is playing rugby. Although the published edition claims it is only: At this point, the dtoppard realizes that the whole ahpgood in Hapgood’s office has been a fiction to trap Ridley, using his feeling for Joe and Hapgood to motivate him. The Heir Apparent Rediscovery.

The next afternoon, Ridley and Mrs. At first Ridley misinterprets what he sees, and believes that Blair is the kidnapper. We’ve got spies,and physics, and guinea pigs and it’s all tremendously fun, and so playful with the language.