Lewis star Laurence is in search of the real thing
Henry is the smartest and sharpest playwright of his generation.
His wife, Charlotte, an actress, has been appearing in a play by Henry about a couple whose marriage is on the verge of collapse.
Max, her leading man, is also married to an actress, Annie. When Henry’s affair with Annie threatens to destroy his own marriage, he realises life has started imitating art.
But are they really in love? Is it the real thing?
Laurence Fox stars in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing at the King’s Theatre, next week.
Fox says, “It’s my first time doing a Stoppard play. It’s a complete technical and emotional challenge.
“Technically there’s the fact it’s such an enormously precise play with long, big thoughts being expressed, so that’s a bit tricky when you are playing someone who is smarter than you are.
“Then the emotional challenge is being able to carry an audience through two hours. It’s tiring but also brilliant.”
First staged in the West End 1982, The Real Thing subsequently transferred to Broadway, where it went on to win multiple awards including, the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play many years later.
Fox has no doubts why the piece has endured.
“Because it was written by Tom Stoppard, our finest living dramatist,” he says.
“Some of it is just sublime, like all of his plays. He’s sort of operating at a totally, massively heightened intellectual level and the language is utterly satisfying - it’s silky and expressive.”
Combining the intellectual and dazzling wordplay of Stoppard at his most witty with some of his most tender and touching writing, this clever, poignant and entertaining examination of infidelity is a modern classic.
A member of one of the UK’s leading acting dynasties, Fox is best known for playing DS James Hathaway in Lewis.
He recalls, “I most enjoyed working with Kevin Whately and the rest of the Lewis crew over all those years because they were such a fantastic bunch and I made some lifelong friends doing it”.
Right now, however, Fox is focussed on touring The Real Thing.
“The United Kingdom isn’t just London, so it’s amazing to be able to see culture everywhere and it’s lovely seeing how audiences in different parts of the UK react differently to different shows. It’s also lovely how the theatre is a hub for each town.”
The Real Thing, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, Tuesday 23-Saturday 27 October, 7.30pm, (matinees 2.30pm), £18-£31.50, 0131-529 6000