Jumpers

Play by Tom Stoppard, with music by Marc Wilkinson, and lyrics by Tom Stoppard. Mental gymnastics, a pyramid of acrobats and a specially trained tortoise. A play about a moral philosopher, his musical-comedy-star wife, a moon landing, and a body in the ballroom. "Hell's bells and all's well - half the world is at peace with itself, and so is the other half."

1972 Original London Production with Michael Hordern and Diana Rigg

1976 London Revival with Michael Hordern and Julie Covington

2003 Original West End Production with Simon Russell Beale and Essie Davis

Tom Stoppard's West End theatre plays include Arcadia; Leopoldstadt; Indian Ink; Rock'n'Roll; The Real Thing; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; and Travesties.


1972 Original London Production

Previewed 25 January 1972, Opened 2 February 1972, Closed 17 August 1972 (in repertory) at the Old Vic Theatre
Returned 31 January 1973, Closed 5 July 1973 (in repertory) at the Old Vic Theatre

The cast featured Michael Hordern as 'George', Diana Rigg as 'Dorothy (Dottie)', Anna Carteret as 'Secretary', Paul Curran as 'Crouch', David Ryall as 'Bones', Graham Crowden as 'Archie' (replaced by Alan MacNaughtan later in run), and David Howey as 'Clegthorpe' (replaced by James Hayes later in run). The original 'Jumpers' featured Ray Callaghan, Tom Dickinson, Michael Edgar, Tom Georgeson, Lionel Guyett, Brian Jameson, Desmond McNamara, Riggs O'Hara, Howard Southern, and Harry Waters.

Directed by Peter Wood, with choreography by Malcolm Goddard, sets by Patrick Robertson, costumes by Rosemary Vercoe, and lighting by Robert Bryan.

Presented by the National Theatre.


1976 London Revival

Previewed 15 September 1976, Opened 21 September 1976, Closed 27 April 1977 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre

The cast featured Michael Hordern as 'George', Julie Covington as 'Dorothy (Dottie)' (Judith Paris took over as 'Dorothy' in February 1977), Tel Stevens as 'Secretary', George Innes as 'Crouch', Bernard Gallagher as 'Bones', Julian Glover as 'Archie', and Michael Stroud as 'Clegthorpe', with the 'Jumpers': Brian Attree, Rae Coates, Richard Gough, James Graham, Dean Harris, Terence Matkin, William Parker, Graham Powell, Graham Simpson, Michael Tarn, Frederick Warder, Philip Wilde, and John Yost.

Directed by Peter Wood, with choreography by Peter Walker, sets by Patrick Robertson, costumes by Rosemary Vercoe, and lighting by Leonard Tucker and Robert Bryan.

On Monday 25 October 1976 the National Theatre's newly-built Southbank home was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. In the evening the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a performance of Goldoni's Il Campiello in the Olivier Theatre, while Princess Margaret attended a performance of Jumpers in the Lyttelton Theatre.


2003 Original West End Production

Previewed 7 June 2003, Opened 19 June 2003, Closed 7 November 2003 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre
Previewed 14 November 2003, Opened 20 November 2003, Closed 6 March 2004 at the Piccadilly Theatre

A major revival of Tom Stoppard's play Jumpers in London starring Simon Russell Beale

The cast at London's Lyttleton Theatre and the West End's Piccadilly Theatre featured Simon Russell Beale as 'George', Essie Davis as 'Dorothy (Dottie)', Eliza Lumley as 'Secretary', John Rogan as 'Crouch', Nicholas Woodeson as 'Bones', Jonathan Hyde as 'Archie' (at the Lyttelton Theatre), and Nicky Henson as 'Archie' (at the Piccadilly Theatre), with the 'Jumpers': Robert Barton, Jean-Felix Callens, Jonothan Campbell, Gary Cross, Leo Kay, Karl Magee, Dodger Phillips, Phil Seaman, Ashley Stuart, and Lewis Young.

Directed by David Leveaux, with choreography by Aidan Treays, sets by Vicki Mortimer, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Paule Constable, music by Corin Buckeridge, and sound by John Leonard.

"David Leveaux's revival proves the play's staying power and provides a really wonderful role for Simon Russell Beale. Beale plays George, a moral philosopher whose world turns on the axis of the lecture he is preparing - Is God? - while his wife Dorothy entertains the university medical vice-chancellor, Archie, in her bedroom. Dorothy has had her world turned upside down by the Moon landings. She is craving love while losing her mind... Russell Beale - deft, tubby, brainy - runs a train through the witty equivocations of the script in search of a meaning and a passion to what he is experiencing all around. Here is Hamlet, middle-aged... While Stoppard's play seems even more urgently appropriate than it did 30 years ago, Russell Beale's tragi-comic predicament as George becomes even more desperate. A joyous occasion, not to be missed." The Daily Mail

"Tom Stoppard's 1972 play Jumpers is an exploding rag-bag of gags which bounce ahout the stage. If you want a straightforward show, then give this a miss. If you want some hardcore philosophy with a side order of puns, songs and some circus gymnastics, then this is the business. The drama features an academic philosopher George, who has pet tortoise called Pat and a wife called Dottie - a lunatic singer who dotes on any lyric involving the word moon - who may or may not be having a fling with a colleague... Stoppard's razzle-dazzle wordplay and trademark flippancy seem to have heen eclipsed - in this production, anyway - by feelings of anguish that linger longer in the memory. I put this down to that genius actor Simon Russell Beale, who makes us care about the workings of poor George's heart while we laugh at his jokes." The Daily Express

"Revived by David Leveaux, this is bouncy, intellectual and bonkers... The storyline feels like a lunatic's collage or a dream full of illogical jumpcuts... Tom Stoppard loses the plot disappointingly in the last Act, juggling so many balls that they fly off in all directions. The supporting cast can also flag slightly as they orbit around Simon Russell Beale. Still, Essie Davis's Dottie is a blonde bombshell with a fab dusky voice... Simon Russell Beale himself is heavenly casting... when lecturing, he rabbits away with priceless smug pauses before unleashing rival-crushing quips, bringing out all the satirical wit and genuine fascination of Stoppard's theological spoof. Educational as well as highly entertaining nonsense." The Independent on Sunday

Jumpers in London at the Piccadilly Theatre previewed 14 November 2003, opened 20 November 2003, closed 6 March 2004.