Tom Stoppard Revival At The Tabard Theatre

Emily Shaw talks about her role as Dotty in the 40th anniversary production

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Emily Shaw describes herself as a foodie and a bride-to be, as well as an actress.

And although she has never visited Chiswick before coming to rehearse the role of Dotty for the Tabard’s revival of the Tom Stoppard classic ‘Jumpers’,(which runs from Tuesday, 4 September-Sunday 30 September)she knows that W4 has a reputation for good restaurants.

“I can’t wait to explore Chiswick further. It’s lovely, very friendly and very pretty” says the actress who lists her hobbies as tweeting about food and baking.

The bride-to-be role takes place next year when she marries actor Tom Lorcan (currently filming TV drama series ‘ Waterloo Road’ ). The couple had a romantic engagement- he proposed to her at the top of the Rockefeller Centre when they were on a visit to New York.

Only a few days from a triumphant run playing Miss Honey in the record-breaking run of the musical ‘Matilda’, Emily is relishing the prospect of getting under the skin of Stoppard’s heroine.

“She’s a woman who questions life and morality and while she has her ups and downs, I feel the audience will empathise with her” says Shaw who is originally fronm Leicestershire and trained at the Laine Theatre Arts School in Epsom.

Her previous credits include Hello Dolly at Regents Park Open Air Theatre, and the UK tours of Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

The role of Dotty has previously been played by Diana Rigg in the West End, and Jill Clayburgh on Broadway, so there are big shoes to fill. But Emily, who left home at 19 to work as an entertainer on the Disney Cruise Line, says Jumpers is sure to be popular with local audiances.

“Tom Stoppard is such a wonderful writer and every time I read the play I get something more out of it. I think the audience will too” says the Leicestershire-born actress, whose parents and family will be travelling to Chiswick to see her at the Tabard Theatre.

Described as a “ deliciously insightful comedy” the action centres around an acrobat who has been murdered at a party given by the manically depressive former musical comedy star, Dotty Moore, to celebrate the accession of a new Radical Liberal government.

Her husband George,(played by Toby Eddington, son of Paul Eddington) is an ageing professor of moral philosophy and attempts to rehearse a lecture while ignoring the nearby corpse as his wife entertains his university boss and a chorus of gymnasts from the philosophy department.

What follows is a murder mystery thriller displaying Tom Stoppard's verbal ingenuity within an anarchic comical setting of adultery, gymnastics and moon landings.

Tom Stoppard is one of the most internationally performed dramatists of his generation with his plays Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Thing and Arcadia.

He also won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for his co-authorship of the film, Shakespeare in Love.

The play was first performed by the  National Theatre Company at the  Old Vic Theatre, London on 2 February 1972 with  Michael Hordern and  Diana Rigg in the leading roles of George and Dorothy.

It was then subsequently revised in 1985 with a production starring Paul Eddington and Felicity Kendal. It was last seen in London at the National Theatre nearly ten years ago.

Directed by Madeleine Loftin, Designed by Chris Hone,
Choreography by Steve Elias, Musical Direction by Andre Refig

Starring Toby Eddington, Emily Shaw, Malcolm Freeman,
Mark White, Michael McEvoy and Julie Rose Smith


August 27, 2012