Love is the focus of The Real Thing, a brilliantly constructed play within a play by Tom Stoppard at his clever, witty and poignant best. An early 80s West End hit starring Felicity Kendal, it was also a Tony Award-winning Broadway triumph, with Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons. Described by theatre critic Michael Billington as “that rare thing….an intelligent play about love,” its appeal endures almost forty years on as we watch four entertaining, emotional characters wrestle with the highs and lows of love and passion in their day-to-day lives. Playwright Henry is married to actor Charlotte and actors Max and Annie to each other; the drama unfolds as relationships unravel. But how do we know which relationship is the ‘real thing’? The main themes of love and adultery are underwritten with typical Stoppard questions about the influence of art on life. This pertinent, funny and touching play, which crackles with sharp dialogue and shines an unforgiving spotlight on marriage and relationships, is not to be missed. As Henry tells us: “It’s no trick loving somebody at their best. Love is loving them at their worst”.