Stoppard’s Rock’n’Roll for St Albans’ Company of Ten

PUBLISHED: 10:06 08 May 2011

Eleanor played by Jo Emery - Max by Tim Hoyle

Eleanor played by Jo Emery - Max by Tim Hoyle


A PASSIONATE and challenging play charting the period from the Prague Spring of 1968 to the Velvet Revolution of 1989 is the next production from the Company of Ten.

Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘N’ Roll looks at the era through the entangled lives of two men - Jan, a young Czech dissident, and Max, an old hardline British Marxist don.

Split-screened between Cambridge and Prague, it is political and personal with high stakes into which wives and daughters, friends and lovers are sucked in.

Stoppard’s younger protagonists see Pink Floyd, Velvet Underground and Prague’s own Plastic People of the Universe as symbols of the resistance while his troubled older communist characters feel the tectonic plates of old Cold War verities shifting under their feet.

The theory behind the title of the play, which runs from next Friday, May 13, until Saturday, May 21, on the main stage at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans, is that in Prague in 1968 the communist regime was rocked and in 1989 it was rolled.

Tickets for the production are available from the Abbey Theatre box office on 01727 857861 or online at

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