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  1. geoids

    Super Stoppard

    Matt Gould — best known as the man at the piano in numerous Sedos musicals — tells the Grapevine about taking on his first directing challenge, Hapgood Double agents. Guns. A character with a natty Russian accent. A story that keeps you guessing, full of intrigue and suspense, written by one of the 20th century’s most respected British dramatists. No wonder Matt Gould was tempted to leave the comfort of his trusty piano to take the helm of our autumn play, Hapgood. “It’s a show I’ve wanted to do for years,†says Matt. “Tom Stoppard has this brilliant way of taking unusual subject matter — in this case quantum mechanics — and using it to aid the development of a compelling plot. And in Hapgood, he delivers a spy-thriller at the same time. It’s what makes him such a brilliant writer. I’m delighted to bring one of Stoppard’s less well-known plays to a wider audience. It’s among his best work.†Matt also notes Stoppard’s prescience: “Back in 1988 when the show was written, no one but Stoppard would have imagined a female spy-master. Since then we’ve had Stella Rimington at MI5, and of course, Judi Dench as M. I like to think that in time Hapgood will become M.†This is Matt’s first outing as a director. Is he daunted? “I’ve been lucky enough to pull together a first rate cast… so I’m going to have to pull it out of the bag to ensure I always stay one step ahead of them! And I’m hoping that my experience of backseat directing, which a number of Sedos’ directors that I’ve worked with can attest, will enable me to drive the cast to first-rate performances.†Matt is looking forward to sitting in the audience every night, rather than performing on-stage or in the orchestra pit. “The worst thing I ever put a director through was arriving at the theatre 45 minutes after the curtain should have gone up. There’d been a pile-up on the M1. The director decided to keep his fingers crossed and wait for me. Poor chap nearly had kittens. When I got to the theatre, I ran straight through the auditorium to an almighty cheer, and we started the show. I hope I don’t have to deal with any similar disasters!†We certainly hope not! Hapgood is on 16-20 November at the Bridewell Theatre. Box office www.sedos.co.uk Meet the cast Chloë Faine is HAPGOOD “I’m excited and daunted by Hapgood in equal measure... excited about the acting and daunted at having to be our chairman’s love interest.†The denouement of Ms Faine’s favourite mission found her in a cuddle with Kevin Spacey. Her future targets include Daniel Craig, who has got the body of a Greek god and the face of a pork scratching. He’s the perfect match for her mind… and for her heart? Chris de Pury is KERNER Mr de Pury’s cover is that of mild-mannered lawyer. This allows him to walk down busy streets handcuffed to a briefcase without arousing suspicion. His targets are few, his words fewer still. If you discover whom he spies upon, he will have to kill you. Craig Karpel is BLAIR By day, Mr Karpel runs an event management business. By night, he steals state secrets through the wooing of politicians’ wives with a voice like an operatic tenor under anesthetic. He prefers stealthy tactics gleaned from studying George Smiley of John Le Carré’s Karla Trilogy, and he next has his gunsight aimed at Pam Doove. Charlotte Price is MAGGS “I’ve played every kind of nanny/nurse going. I’m very good at those. As for Hapgood, Yay! Receptionist/PA! I feel as though I’m branching out.†Ms Price is currently planning a mission that will use her distant relationship to Joanna Lumley to gain access to private conversations between The Queen and Prince Philip. Her role model for this endeavor is whispered to be Mata Hari, the beautiful high-class prostitute and spy. Daniel Goad is RIDLEY “Finally, someone let me be a spy.†Having successfully completed a stint of NHS espionage, Mr Goad will join the student body of UCL, ostensibly to get an MA in reception of the classical world. It’s the perfect alibi. In fact, he will infiltrate the ranks of co-eds in order to shadow Anne Hathaway (for obvious reasons). Kevin Shen is WATES “Thanks, Mr Stoppard, for writing an American into this play. Especially one who plays with guns. Awesome.†Armed with a Wharton MBA and a Stanford computer engineering degree and a stupid amount of student debt, Mr Shen spends hours scanning television programmes for hidden messages from other undercover operatives. Intelligence expeditions have taken him to Chernobyl, the Arctic Circle in the middle of winter, and to Putney, the most dangerous place of all. Fran Kilshaw is MERRYWEATHER “My favourite spy is Agent Rosenfield from Twin Peaks. He’s a detective, which is sort of the same thing, right?†Ms Kilshaw will soon go undercover as a bartender in Leytonstone, where she will collect data on the drinking habits of regular patrons (provided her interview succeeds) and maintain a database on the seedier come-on lines she picks up along the way. Hapgood is being performed by Sedos, the City of London's premier amateur theare company from 16-20 November 2010 at the Bridewell Theatre. Full information on Hapgood can be found here: www.sedos.co.uk/2010/Hapgood.htm In the lead up to the show, a range of trailers and video interviews with the cast can be found here: www.youtube.com/user/SedosVideo#grid/user/C321F51EA505BD17

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