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Previewed 7 June 2003, opened 19 June 2003, closed 7 November 2003 at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in London
Transferred previewed 14 November 2003, opened 20 November 2003, closed 6 March 2004 at the Piccadilly Theatre in London
A major revival of Tom Stoppard's play Jumpers in London starring Simon Russell Beale and is directed by David Leveaux and with designs by Vicki Mortimer.
Hell's bells and all's well - half the world is at peace with itself, and so is the other half.
Mental gymnastics, a pyramid of acrobats and a specially trained tortoise. Tom Stoppard's dazzling play about a moral philosopher, his musical-comedy-star wife, a moon landing and a body in the ballroom, premiered for the National at the Old Vic in 1972.
The cast for Jumpers features Simon Russell Beale as 'George Moore', Jonathan Hyde as 'Archie' and Essie Davis as 'Dotty', it is directed by David Leveaux.
"David Leveaux proves Jumpers an astoundingly rich example of what Tom Stoppard has called the theatre of audacity. You get striptease, farcical misunderstandings, soupy songs, acrobatics, erudite jokes, a murder and a spoof detective, and lots of stuff about the ethical implications of what, in 1972, were very recent Moon landings... But it's George's attempts to write a lecture positing the reality of what he calls 'an incredible, indescribable and definitely shifty God', and the existence of absolute morality, that mainly matters to the theist Stoppard. And Beale, like Michael Hordern before him, brings a bumbling charisma to this endeavour, along with flashes of nerdish earnestness and self-satisfaction... Beale triumphantly proves Jumpers worth reviving." The Times
"While the passage of time has added to, rather than diminished, this play's sparkle, for all its deliciously dazzling intellectual dexterity and wit, Jumpers will never be one of my top ten dramas. At an emotional level it is wholly uninvolving. I laughed my head off, but didn't really engage with anything or anyone... Except perhaps George Moore, the moral philosophy don who is earnestly preparing a lecture entitled Does God Exist? with the help of such props as a very well trained tortoise and a hare who has done a runner... David Leveaux's supple, bouncy production wears Stoppard's erudition very lightly and is a must-see for fans of Simon Russell Beale, a total joy as the bumbling brainbox, George, occasionally brimming over with delight at his own brilliance - and deservedly so." The Mail on Sunday
"Archie, along with most of his colleagues, takes a materialist view of the world, akin to that of Logical Positivism. He is also a leading figure in the Radical-Liberal party, which has just assumed power. George, on the other hand, maintains an unfashionable belief in absolute moral values. We are plainly meant to be on George's side, but it is not so much his arguments that win us over as his ardour, his appeal to common sense and, along with all his absurdities, his sweetness of character. That puts a heavy burden on the actor who plays him, but in David Leveaux's production at the Lyttelton Theatre Simon Russell Beale makes the part his own... He bumbles, he beams, he trips over himself, and then suddenly he goes straight to your heart. It is one of his best performances." The Sunday Telegraph
Jumpers in London at the Piccadilly Theatre previewed 14 November 2003, opened 20 November 2003, closed 6 March 2004.