Wednesday, October 10, 2007
It's not only rock 'n' roll
Tom Stoppard's play "Rock 'n' Roll is set in Czechoslovakia in 1968, a time of political liberalization that ended up being crushed by Soviet tanks. At the same time, the play also takes place in the rarified air of academic life in Cambridge, England.
This month's issue of Vanity Fair has an essay by Stoppard, in which he describes his play as being "partly about Communism, partly about consciousness, slightly about Sappho, and mainly about Czechoslovakia between 1968 and 1990," and a q&a where the playwright discusses, among other things, his fascination with Syd Barrett, the late Pink Floyd frontman.
It's one of the plays I'm most looking forward to seeing on Broadway next month. (If there's no lockout, fingers and toes crossed). I'm interested in how Stoppard deals with a tumultuous time, how he switches between the worlds of Prague and Cambridge, and what he may, or may not, have to say about rock 'n' roll as a force for political and social change.