19:45, Tue 16th – Sat 20th February 2010 at ADC Theatre
Lent Week 5
"I would have died for you, but I didn't have the luck!"
A.E. Housman, renowned poet and classical scholar is dead. As he is ferried across the river Styx he reflects upon his life. We first see the young Housman in a punt in 1870s Oxford, in the "golden age". Then later we see his life in London in the 1890s, when everyone is talking about Oscar Wilde and the scandal that shocked late Victorian society. As the young Housman longs after his unrequited love, and finds his poetic voice, everything else is changing around him. Wilde asks Housman, "where were you when all of this was happening?" and Housman replies, "at home". The play asks us whether life should be lived cool and detached, or hot and exciting.
The play is Stoppard at his best. His language is beautiful and his wit is sharp. The play explores the nature of art, scholarship, and of course love. It is a spellbinding show by one of Britain's best playwrights.