The Invention of Love

Play

Writers: Tom Stoppard

Overview

Show Information

Category
Play
Number of Acts
2
First Produced
1997
Genres
Drama
Settings
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
The River Styx, Oxford University, Victorian era
Cast Size
large
Licensor
Ideal for
College/University, Large Cast, Mostly Male Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes elderly, adult, mature adult, young adult characters

Synopsis

In 1936, the scholar and poet A.E. Housman died at 77 years old. Now he is on the banks of the River Styx, waiting to be ferried into the afterlife. But before his journey is complete, AEH reflects on the people and events that shaped him as a poet and person. He relives his early days at Oxford, his unrequited love for a classmate, and his admiration for Oscar Wilde, the figurehead of the Aesthetic Movement. Throughout his reminisces, AEH examines the nature of love as it appears in poetry from the early Roman elegists to his own publication of A Shropshire Lad. Most importantly, AEH considers love as it exists between men: platonic, romantic, brotherhood, forbidden. Full of esoteric references and witty inside jokes for Victorian era scholars, The Invention of Love is Tom Stoppard’s philosophical masterpiece for the ages.

Lead Characters