Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation



Sex. Death. Poetry. - and Lightning, the family tortoise.

In a large country house in Derbyshire in 1809, Lady Thomasina Coverly, sits with her tutor, Septimus Hodge: 'What is carnal embrace?' Beyond them the idealized landscape is being transformed into Gothic wilderness. 180 years later, garden historian Hannah Jarvis's research has been interrupted by the arrival of Bernard Nightingale, an academic set to reveal a scandal said to have taken place when Lord Byron stayed at Sidley Park.

As the centuries pile on top of one another, Tom Stoppard's play takes us on an exploration of nature, truth and time, and how a life's true course is hijacked by sex - 'the attraction which Newton left out'.

Arcadia was a student devised project located at CAPITAL and based around Tom Stoppard's play. The project used CAPITAL's principles of creativity and performance in teaching and learning in its three strands of activity:

* Exploration of the play through the rehearsal and devising process, giving the group a detailed understanding of Stoppard's textual work.

* An educational programme, expanding on the themes and issues in the play and tying them in to the curricula of several departments.

* Presentation of the group's findings through performances to other students and academics.

 For more information about the show, rehearsal diary and educational resources visit the microsite:
Or download a Learning Pack as a pdf.