Tom Stoppard

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Stoppard, Tom

Stoppard, Tom, 1937–, English playwright, b. Zlín, Czechoslovakia (now in the Czech Republic), as Tomas Straussler. During his childhood he and his family moved to Singapore, later (1946) settling in Bristol, England, where he became a journalist. In 1960 he moved to London, where he became a theater critic and wrote radio plays. He first gained prominence with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967), a witty drama about peripheral characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Stoppard is noted for his idiosyncratic style, artful and complex construction, deft parody, profound intellectuality, wide-ranging knowledge, and ability to find significance in wordplay and bizarre juxtapositions of language and character. In Travesties (1974), for example, James Joyce, Lenin, and Tristan Tzara collaborate on a production of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest.

Many critics consider his Jumpers (1973), a play that includes gymnastics, murder, song, dance, and ethical discussion, and Arcadia (1993), a drama that takes place in both 1809 and the early 1990s and is centered on a 19th-century mathematical prodigy and a 20th-century literary scholar, his finest works. Stoppard's other plays include The Real Inspector Hound (1968); Dirty Linen (1976); The Real Thing (1982); Hapgood (1988); Indian Ink (1995); The Invention of Love (1997); Rock 'n' Roll (2006); and The Hard Problem (2015). One of his most complex and acclaimed later works, the trilogy The Coast of Utopia (2002), explores the roots of the Russian Revolution. Leopoldstadt (2020) draws on his family's history to tell of a prosperous Jewish Viennese family from the early 1900s to the Holocaust's aftermath.

Stoppard is also a skilled screenwriter; he was a main scriptwriter for Brazil (1985) and Empire of the Sun (1987), won particular acclaim for his Shakespeare in Love (1998, with Marc Norman), and wrote the script for Anna Karenina (2012). He also has written for television, and is the author of a novel, Lord Malaquist and Mr. Moon (1966), and short stories.


See P. Delaney, ed., Tom Stoppard in Conversation (1994) and M. Gussow, Conversations with Stoppard (1995, rev. ed. 2003); biography by I. Nadel (2001); studies by R. Hayman (1977), V. L. Cahn (1979), J. Hunter (1982); T. R. Whitaker (1983), M. Page (1986), S. Rusinko (1986), M. Billington (1987), J. Harty, ed. (1988), A. Jenkins (1987, 1990), K. E. Kelly (1991), R. A. Andretta (1992), T. Hodgson (2001); J. Fleming (2001), J. Hunter (1982, 2005), and H. Bloom, ed. (rev. ed. 2003); K. E. Kelly, ed., Cambridge Companion to Tom Stoppard (2001).

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Tom Stoppard's Travesties, based on allusion, pastiche and parody, is a rewriting of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest.
Daniel Jernigan's Tom Stoppard: Bucking the Postmodern concentrates on another, albeit related, charge levied against Stoppard, namely, that he tends toward the philosophically reactionary by demonstrating a pronounced interest in the many perspectives and features of modernism over postmodernism.
Lee Hall, then, has followed in the footsteps of Sir Tom Stoppard (who was once married to Newcastle-born doctor, writer and broadcaster Miriam Stoppard)...
A letter signed by authors including Stephen Fry, Sir Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Tom Stoppard, said: "The Defamation Bill is not a suitable vehicle for the wider proposals of press regula-a tion - as Lord Justice Leveson himself noted, libel did not form part of his terms of reference.
But as Tom Stoppard quips in one of his plays, every exit is an entrance somewhere else.
Film director Ken Russell, 83, playwright Tom Stoppard, 73, TV presenter Sian Lloyd 52, Yazoo songwriter Vince Clarke, 50, actor Tom Cruise, 48, actor Tom Gibson, 48, Boyzone member Shane Lynch, 34.
John Nash in the film "A Beautiful Mind" (screenplay by Tom Stoppard)
THEATRE: Lodestar's brilliant production of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead has impressed critics and audiences alike.
The judging panel for the first prize will include Antonia Fraser, Pinter's widow and former president of English PEN; Tom Stoppard, a playwright; Lisa Appignanesi, English PEN president; Mark Lawson, a broadcaster; and Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre.
Tom Stoppard was more pessimistic when he wrote: "Life is a gamble at terrible odds; if it was a bet you wouldn't take it" - Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead.
Maybe Ed should have asked his dad, writer Tom Stoppard, for help with his lines.