Rough Crossing

Front Cover
Samuel French, Inc., 1988 - Drama - 88 pages
2 Reviews

Comedy

Tom Stoppard, from an original play by Ferenc Molnar

Characters: 5 male, 1 female

The co authors, the composer and most of the cast of a comedy destined for Broadway are simultaneously trying to finish and rehearse the play while crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner. Tom Stoppard's hilarious play has been freely adapted from Ferenc Molnar's classic farce Jatek a Kastelyban.

"Adaptation in Stoppard's terms means finding a sympathetic text and using it as a springboard for invention that leaves the original far behind this time, Stoppard has found a totally compatible source, matching his temperament at every point, except in irrepressible high spirits around [a] slender central device, he weaves an increasingly amazing pattern of verbal misunderstandings, eccentric character development, showbiz spectacle, and seagoing hazards, all of which come to occupy equal importance in the plot." London Times.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Rough Crossing

User Review  - Neil - Goodreads

Not quite a full-on farce, not quite a romantic comedy, but somewhere between. Two playwrights try to get revisions done during an Atlantic crossing, but the love triangle between their two stars and ... Read full review

Review: Rough Crossing

User Review  - Karen - Goodreads

Tom Stoppard is not just a genius but he's a comic and a linguist too. Picture the cast of an iffy, badly-in-need-of-polishing musical aboard a ship being waited on by an iffy steward who knows ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
5
Section 3
49
Section 4
89
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1988)

When the National Theatre needed a last-minute substitute for a canceled production of As You Like It, Kenneth Tynan decided to stage Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a work by an unfamiliar author that had received discouraging notices from provincial critics at its Edinburgh Festival debut. Of course, the play, when it opened in April 1967, met with universal acclaim. In New York the next year, it was chosen best play by the Drama Critics Circle. In such an unlikely way, Tom Stoppard came to light. Born in Czechoslovakia, a country he left (for Singapore) when he was an infant, he began his literary career as a journalist in Bristol, where play reviewing led to playwriting. After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard's reputation suffered through the production of a number of minor works, whose intellectual preoccupations were shrugged off by reviewers: Enter a Free Man (1968; "an adolescent twinge of a play," N.Y. Times), The Real Inspector Hound (1968; "lightweight," N.Y. Times), and After Magritte. But in the 1970s, the initial enthusiasms aroused by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were more than vindicated by the production of two full-length plays, Jumpers (1974) and the antiwar play Travesties (1975), whose immense verbal and theatrical inventiveness made them absolute successes on both sides of the Atlantic. Stoppard's method from the start has been to contrive explanations for highly unlikely encounters---of objects (the ironing board, old lady, and bowler hat of After Magritte), characters (Joyce, Lenin, and Tzara in Travesties), and even plays (Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, and The Real Thing, 1982). In the 1970s, Tynan called for Stoppard---as a Czech and as an artist---to engage himself politically. But although political subjects have since found their way into pieces from Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (1977) to Squaring the Circle (1985), politics and art seem to have become just two more of the playwright's irreconcilables, which meet, but never join, in the logical frames of his comedy. The presence of political material---such as the Lenin sections that nearly ruin the second part of Travesties---has occasionally strained the structure of the plays. But in The Real Thing Stoppard is comfortable enough with the satire on art and activism to bring a third subject, love, into the mix. Stoppard has acknowledged his Eastern European heritage nonpolitically, in a series of adaptations of plays by Arthur Schnitzler (see Vol. 2), Johann Nestroy, and Ferenc Molnar.

Bibliographic information