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Summary

Henry may be the wittiest playwright of his generation, but he’s hopelessly naïve when it comes to understanding love and infidelity. Writing about betrayal is one thing, living with it is another. After Henry leaves his wife for another woman, he’s confronted with being the cuckold himself. Both dazzlingly clever and emotionally naked, Henry’s search for the “the real thing” in art and love demonstrates beautifully why both are worth the effort in the end.

©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

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It's the real Real Thing

Don't be fooled by the title; this isn't a play about Coke or Faith No More's best album (you watch; I'll get an argument on that last one) but rather a searching character piece about LOVE.

To be more specific, it explores the nature of love and how it means different things to different people. It includes betrayal, devotion, sex, parental love and that old favourite, unrequited love.

It also includes a brief exploration of highbrow and lowbrow art which, I suspect, is meant to draw a parallel with the nature of love... but, Hell, what do I know? My English Literature A Level was over twenty years ago now.

This is Tom Stoppard so you're guaranteed that it's going to be very clever and very funny. I laughed out loud a few times and listening to this play on my drive home was a great way to wash away the working week. Highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • SHAWN
  • 09-03-11

Excellent

I've watched this play, read this play, and now I have listened to this play in my car on my way to and from work. With tears of laughter obstructing my vision I was a road hazard! DUIOTS!

More dramatized Tom Stoppard, Audible!

9 people found this helpful

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  • EmG
  • 19-02-22

Like revisiting one of my favorite nights in the theatre

I love this play, I love the language. When Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle did the revival on Broadway, I think I went at least four or five times. Listening to this production allowed me to relive the experience of watching it live. It’s moving and funny and beautiful. Wonderful job, LA TheatreWorks!

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  • Tom
  • 10-07-21

Vintage Stoppard Nicely Performed

I’ve always enjoyed Stoppard’s verbal gymnastics. The exchanges between Henry and Annie are typical examples. The switches back and forth between Performance and Reality are a little difficult to follow without the visuals, but only enhance the problems Henry has determining Real Love from Acting.

Four Stars.

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  • nat
  • 22-09-16

The play's name says it all

If you could sum up The Real Thing in three words, what would they be?

It's a vivacious play about love, (in)fidelity and art.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry, he's my favourite character as he seems to have the backbone which guides him through the life, even though he can be not in line with the "crowd" around, for example, his wife Charlotte or daughter. Yet, he learns a lot as the play progresses (in respect to Charlotte, Anny, for example), which shows his flexibility and consciousness at the same time.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the third time that I listened to "LA Theatre works" performances, and I am absolutely happy with their art. It's breathtaking, lively. Made me want to follow to the end. Flawless. Thanks a lot to the company!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The main characters repeating "Are you ok?" It's so caring. Henry's idea about love as knowing. Ann's understanding of fidelity.