The Real Thing (play)

The Real Thing
RealThingStoppard.jpg
Cover of the Faber and Faber edition
Written by Tom Stoppard
Characters Annie
Henry
Charlotte
Billy
Debbie
Brodie
Max
Date premiered 16 November 1982 (1982-11-16)
Place premiered The Strand Theatre (now the Novello Theatre), London
Original language English
Subject Love, reality versus fiction
Genre Drama

The Real Thing is a play by Tom Stoppard that was first performed in 1982. It examines the nature of honesty and uses various constructs, including a play within a play, to explore the theme of reality versus appearance.

The play focuses on the relationship between Henry and Annie, an actress and member of a group fighting to free Brodie, a Scottish soldier imprisoned for burning a memorial wreath during a protest.

Characters

Max: "40-ish" male actor who begins the play married to Annie. Acts in Henry's new play, House of Cards.

Charlotte: "35-ish" female actor who begins the play married to Henry. Appears opposite Max in House of Cards.

Henry: "40-ish" playwright who, at the beginning of the play, is married to Charlotte and conducting an affair with Annie. Both believe in love and yet approach it with cynicism.

Annie: "30-ish" female actor who begins the play married to Max. She has been conducting an ongoing affair with Henry while also working as an activist for Brodie, a soldier who was arrested and imprisoned for setting fire to a wreath at the Cenotaph.

Billy: "22-ish" young actor who plays Giovanni to Annie's Annabella in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. Openly shows romantic interest in Annie.

Debbie: "17" year old daughter of Charlotte and Henry who nevertheless spends very little time with them.

Brodie: "25" year old soldier imprisoned for setting fire to the wreath at the Cenotaph. Annie takes him up as a cause. [1]