The force Newton left out: sex in ‘Arcadia’

Director Aarne Neeme is a favourite at Canberra Rep and one of Australia’s leading theatre figures, but he’s never staged Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia” before, so he tells “CityNews”.

Amelia Green as Thomasina and Matthew Barton as Septimus

Amelia Green as Thomasina and Matthew Barton as Septimus

“Arcadia”, one of the mercurial Stoppard’s most perfect dramas, is at REP from this Friday, with an all-star cast both on and off stage.

Briefly, In 1809 Thomasina is a precocious teenager with ideas about mathematics well ahead of her time, as a preview scene with Amelia Green playing Thomasina and Matthew Barton playing Septimus showed. She studies with her tutor, a friend of Lord Byron who is also an unseen guest in the ‘house-in the present’, where a writer and an academic converge on the same house. The writer, is investigating a hermit who once lived on the grounds and the professor of literature is investigating a chapter in the life of Byron. They combine to decipher the mysteries left behind, so naturally Neeme has been at pains to make sure the large table on stage is littered with the artefacts of intelligence.

Director Aarne Neeme on set

Director Aarne Neeme on set

REP is billing the show as “a comedy of ideas—on truth and time, romance and science—plus sex,” which they’re calling, “the force Newton left out”.

“Arcadia,” at Theatre 3, 3 Repertory Lane Acton, August 1-16, bookings to 6257 1950 or | canberrarep.org.au   

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