Episode 033: Leopoldstadt by Tom Stoppard
Host: Douglas Schatz
Guest: Patrick Marber
Welcome to The Play Podcast where we explore the greatest new and classic plays. Each episode we choose a single play to talk about in depth with our expert guest. We’ll discuss the play’s origins, its themes, characters, structure and impact. For us the play is the thing.
Tom Stoppard’s ambitious new play Leopoldstadt is a sweeping work of history and ideas which charts the diaspora and decline of an Austrian Jewish family through the convulsive events of the first half of the twentieth century. It addresses profound moral questions of identity, memory and prejudice that are insistently relevant in our time. It is not only a towering intellectual achievement, it is also very personally poignant because it is based partly on Stoppard’s own remarkable family history.
Leopoldstadt opened in the West End in January 2020, only to be closed prematurely by the pandemic a few weeks later. Happily it has returned to the London stage this Autumn, and I am privileged and delighted to talk in this episode with the director of the London productions, playwright Patrick Marber.