After Magritte

After Magritte is a very short, surreal comedy by Tom Stoppard, inspired by the paintings of Rene Magritte.The play is set in a the sitting room of Reginald and Thelma Harris’s suburban house. As the play opens, Reginald is standing in waders changing a light bulb. His wife is on the floor looking for spent bullets which she throws into a bucket. An older woman is lying asleep on the ironing board. Through the window a policemen is looking in astonishment of this scene, reminiscent of a Magritte painting. Finding it very suspicious, the policeman calls in his inspector.This is an extremely clever and funny play. We hear about a series of events that have taken place earlier in the day. Each person has a slightly different opinion about what they saw and nothing makes any sense. The arrival of the inspector does nothing to clarify matters – based on the same events, he has built up a theory about a crime and the family’s involvement in it. Gradually, we hear more and more details and learn the truth about what happened. Finally, there is no mystery left and everything has been explained but working it out has given the audience great pleasure.This is a very clever and enjoyable play, in which every word is important and the cast play it just right. Great fun.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

Sometimes the surreal can really make sense. One of Tom Stoppard's best farces. Absurdity, wit, tubas, ballroom dancers, bras and bumbling coppers. The brainiest romp you'll ever see. 'Theatre of surprise, with abounding and intricately concocted idiocies' (Guardian).

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