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Genre A play for actors and orchestra

Authors Tom Stoppard & André Previn

Directors Felix Barrett and Tom Morris


The play concerns a dissident, Alexander Ivanov, who is imprisoned in a Soviet mental hospital, from which he will not be released until he admits that his statements against the government were caused by a (non-existent) mental disorder.

In the hospital he shares a cell with a genuinely disturbed schizophrenic, also called Ivanov, who believes himself to have a symphony orchestra under his command. Alexander receives visits from the Doctor and from a Colonel in the KGB.

Meanwhile, his son, Sacha, is seen in a school classroom with a teacher who attempts to persuade him of the genuineness of his father's illness.

Joseph's role



Mon 12th Jan 2009 (previews) - Wed 25th Feb 2009


Joseph reviews

National Theatre