So ‘Hapgood’ at the Hampstead Theatre… We had all heard about its troubled history having been reworked several times by Tom Stoppard. This time it was his latest version being performed in the main space at the theatre in Hampstead.
A very confused opening involving several men with briefcases coming in and out of a swimming pool locker room and throwing towels over doors, set the ball rolling for what was to be a very confusing night of theatre. It is well known that Tom Stoppard likes to explore scientific theories, however, we were left with a number of complex monologues that didn’t really seemed pitched at the right level for your average theatre goer. The rest of it is made up by a complex cold war plot that begs the question why Tom keeps trying to revive it when it is so out of date.
Redeemed by an interesting set, there was a clever use of TVs on the back wall, and a locker room that swung in from the side, but there was little else positive to say about this piece.
Upstairs at the Hampstead has a very mainstream programme, however, it seems they got stuck in the past a bit with this one. If only the programming in their upstairs space was as edgy as it is in their downstairs space…
Dramatic highlight of the show – the confusing, yet striking opening towel and briefcase choreography.