Osip Theatre come to the Tabard Theatre with a revival of Tom Stoppard’s hilarious award-winning play The Real Thing for its first performance in London since 2000. The play opens during a major revival of another of Stoppard’s plays: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the National Theatre.

This comic work, originally staged in 1982, has received a host of awards, including a Tony Award for Best Play in 1984. It examines the nature of honesty, adultery and reality, focusing on the nature of true love through the relationship between playwright Henry and his actress wife Charlotte.

The Press on The Real Thing

‘Annie (played with ease and poise by Lily Bevan), having ditched the awkwardly reticent Max for the dashing candour of playwright Henry, complains that being on the right end of unrequited love is an uninteresting and irritating tedium. The pain of her ex-lover bores her. It is an excellently cold and, if I can brave such a term, authentic depiction of a relationship’s aftermath. As one hurts, the other exults. Stoppard, through his fictional plaything Henry, suggests that the limit of art is to nudge perceptions in the right direction. A lesser company may have bodged this. Osip Theatre do not. I was sincerely nudged, and I urge you to be nudged too.’

British Theatre Guide

‘The Real Thing’ explores the age old questions; ‘What actually is this thing called love?’ ‘Does art influence life?’ ‘Can life imitate art?’ Much like real life, these questions are never fully answered, but form the backbone of a heartfelt and reflective play. Hanna Berrigan directs this intimate piece and successfully plays on the Tabard’s atmospheric theatre to grant the audience peeping tom status as we sit, enthralled at some of the more personal and poignant moments. A thoroughly enjoyable production.’

Totally Theatre

‘Infidelity. A single word from which stems a multitude of uncertainties – what boundaries must be crossed in order to be considered cheating; are they solely physical, or is emotional unfaithfulness just as destructive? This hovering grey area seeps into the onstage world of The Real Thing and guides the relationships of its characters through an array of conflicts, sometimes resulting in triumphs, other times in consequences.’

Whats on Stage

Director Hanna Berrigan graduated from RADA in 2001 and has established a strong reputation as a director of both new writing and revivals. In addition to directing her own work she has worked as an associate on The 39 Steps at the Criterion and assisted on shows at The National Theatre, The Royal Court and for the RSC.


Directed by Hanna Berrigan
Design Bafta-nominated Robert Ide
Lighting Alex Stone
Sound Lee Evans


Lily Bevan, Amy Dawson, Nigel Hastings, Paul Joseph, Lisa McNaught,Harry Hadden Paton, Jos Vantyler

Booking Details

Tabard Theatre
2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW
Box Office 08448 472 264


Tuesday 2th7 January –
Saturday 14th February 2009