A Conversation With Nick Sandys
Talk Theatre In Chicago talks with Nick Sandys from the Remy Bumppo Theatre as they are set to open Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing. This is the company’s fourth Stoppard play, including its inaugural production of Night and Day in 1996. The show is set to run Nov. 15, 2006 through Jan. 7, 2007 in the Upstairs Mainstage at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue.
In Tom Stoppard’s sharply funny play about love and marriage, Henry, a playwright, is famous for witty works about love and deception. Writing about betrayal is one thing, but living with it is another. When Henry’s life begins to resemble his art, his carefully honed wit leaves him defenseless. Finally, in his 40’s, Henry grows up and into a deeper love.
Renowned for his rapier wit and innovative approach to stylistic experimentation, Tom Stoppard is considered by many to be one of the most important writers of our time. He was born Tomas Straussler in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, on July 3, 1937. In 1939, his family fled from Czechoslovakia, and the encroaching Nazis, to Singapore. Shortly before the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1941, Stoppard, his mother, and his older brother Eugene were evacuated to Darjeeling, India; however, his father, Eugene Straussler, remained behind in Singapore and was killed. In 1946, his mother remarried British army officer Kenneth Stoppard, and the family settled in Bristol, England.
Stoppard began his writing career as a journalist with the Western Daily Press. He began to write television and radio plays, and by 1966 he had completed his smash hit stage play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which won a Tony Award in 1968. He has gone on to write numerous hit plays, including Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth; The Real Inspector Hound; Hapgood (performed by Remy Bumppo in 2001), Arcadia (performed by Remy Bumppo in 2004/5); and, of course, The Real Thing. He is also a respected screenwriter, having co- written the scripts for Brazil (two Academy Award nominations, including for Best Original Script), Empire of the Sun (six Academy Award nominations) and Shakespeare in Love (13 Academy Award nominations and seven wins, including for Best Picture and Best Original Script).
The Real Thing first opened in 1982 in London’s West End. Two years after the immense critical praise and commercial success of the play in London, The Real Thing opened on Broadway to sell-out audiences and reprised success. The production, featuring Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons, went on to win several Tony Awards, including Best Play, Best Leading Actor (Jeremy Irons), Best Leading Actress (Glenn Close), Best Featured Actress (Christine Baranski) and Best Director (Mike Nichols). The New York Times hailed the The Real Thing as “not only Mr. Stoppard’s most moving play, but also the most bracing play that anyone has written about love and marriage in years.”
The Real Thing features Remy Bumppo Artistic Associates Linda Gillum and Nick Sandys (both recently seen in Aren’t We All and Tartuffe). Also featured in the production are Chicago actors Kareem L. Bandealy, Anne Fogarty (Man and Superman, Holiday), Sean Fortunato, Keith D. Gallagher, Rachel Sondag (Power), Casey Campbell, and Danielle O’Farrell. The production is directed by Remy Bumppo Artistic Director James Bohnen and stage managed by Patia Bartlett. The design team includes set design by Tim Morrison, lighting by Rich Norwood, sound by Toy Delorio, and costumes by Judith Lundberg.
Tickets are on sale through the Victory Gardens Box Office at 773-871-3000 or online at www.remybumppo.org.
To listen to the interview hosted by critic Joe Stead, go to Talk Theatre In Chicago.
Follow Us On Twitter