Tom Stoppard


Tom Stoppard Trivia


  • Trivia

    • One of his four sons is the actor Ed Stoppard.

    • His partner is the English actress Felicity Kendal, who came to fame in The Good Life and was one of the two gardener-detectives in the TV serial Rosemary and Thyme.

    • He speaks Czech and translated some of Vaclav Havel's plays into English.

    • The first working title of Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Meet King Lear. First performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, 1966, a production ran for a year on Broadway from October 1967 and was nominated for eight Tony Awards. It won four of them, including Best Play.

    • Stoppard's real father, Eugene Straussler, was in Singapore when it was captured by the Japanese in 1941 and died in a Japanese internment camp for enemy aliens.

    • He co-wrote the screenplays for the movies Brazil (1985) and Shakespeare in Love (1998).

    • Stoppard worked as the drama critic of London's Scene magazine from 1962 to 1963. Some of his work for Scene appeared under the name of 'William Boot', the fictional wildlife column writer in Evelyn Waugh's book Scoop (1938) who accidentally became a war correspondent.

    • The annual Tom Stoppard Prize was established in Stockholm in 1983, and is awarded to authors of Czech origin.

    • Stoppard's first major play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) is a comedy which centres on two minor characters from Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.

    • In his early years as a writer, Tom Stoppard wrote mostly for BBC radio.

    • He has published just one novel, Lord Malquist and Mr Moon (1966).

    • He has received seven Evening Standard Awards: Most Promising Playwright (1967), Best Play, for 'Jumpers' (1972), Best Comedy, for 'Travesties' (1974), Best Play, for 'Night and Day' (1978), Best Play, for 'The Real Thing' (1982), Best Play, for 'Arcadia' (1993), Best Play, for 'The Invention of Love' (1997).

    • He left school at the age of seventeen to take a job as a journalist on the Bristol newspaper Western Daily Press.

  • Quotes

    • Tom Stoppard: My work always tried to unite the true with the beautiful; but when I had to choose one or the other, I usually chose the beautiful.

    • Tom Stoppard: A movie camera is like having someone you have a crush on watching you from afar - you pretend it's not there.

    • Tom Stoppard: Pirates could happen to anyone.

    • Tom Stoppard: Life is a gamble at terrible odds, if it were a bet, you would not take it.

    • Tom Stoppard: We've travelled too far, and our momentum has taken over; we move idly towards eternity, without possibility of reprieve or hope of explanation.

    • Tom Stoppard: My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers.

    • Tom Stoppard: All your life you live so close to truth it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye.

    • Tom Stoppard: Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering.

    • Tom Stoppard: If an idea's worth having once, it's worth having twice.

    • Tom Stoppard: It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting.

    • Tom Stoppard: The truth is always a compound of two half-truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say.

    • Tom Stoppard: We are tied down to a language that makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.

    • Tom Stoppard: I write plays because writing dialogue is the only respectable way of contradicting yourself. I'm the kind of person who embarks on an endless leapfrog down the great moral issues. I put a position, rebut it, refute the rebuttal, and rebut the refutation.

    • Tom Stoppard: We're actors - we're the opposite of people.

    • Tom Stoppard: Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?

    • Tom Stoppard: We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

    • Tom Stoppard: Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.

    • Tom Stoppard: The days of the digital watch are numbered.

    • Tom Stoppard: It is better to be quotable than to be honest.

    • Tom Stoppard: Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.