Travesties

From Academic Kids

Travesties is a comedic play by Tom Stoppard, first produced in 1975. It takes place primarily in Zurich during World War I and explores three important 20th-century personalities who lived in Zurich at that time: modernist author James Joyce, communist revolutionary Lenin, and Dadaist founder Tristan Tzara. Years later, the English consular official Henry Carr, who is likewise a real person, describes his past interaction with these influential figures. As he explores his recollections, Carr's now geriatric memory becomes prone to distraction, and instead of predictable historical biography, these figures are interpreted through the maze of his mind.

Carr had performed in a production of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest with Joyce. Stoppard uses this production and Carr's mixed feelings surrounding it as a framework to explore art, the war and revolution. Situations from Earnest feature prominently within the action. Travesties' characters also includes versions of two of Earnest's: Gwendolen and Cecily.

Stoppard uses many intellectual and theatrical devices within the play, including puns, limericks, and even a vaudeville song. Template:Theat-stub

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