The Real Thing

We went to see the play The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard at The Old Vic in London on Friday 21st May 2010. It has a relevant and real theme that seems to get lost.

The play, first performed in 1982, focuses on the relationship of Henry (Toby Stephens) and Annie (Hattie Morahan) from its illicit beginnings, through the honeymoon period and into the routine settled stage. It shows how early love is so exciting but becomes less exciting as time moves on. At one point monogamy is declared to be ‘a thing of the past, a form of colonization’.  It shows how tempting it can be to stray when someone is flirting with you. And if one strays it does not necessarily mean that you do not love your core relationship. All these messages were well portrayed and there seemed to be a happy ending but somehow I felt lost.

Stephens gives a powerful performance and is very believable. I found Morahan to be too ditzy to be convincing in a part which has some profound moments.

As always it is a joy to see a production in the lovely Old Vic Theatre.