Written byTom Stoppard
Date premieredMarch 8, 1988 (1988-03-08)
Place premieredAldwych Theatre, London
Original languageEnglish
SubjectEspionage, quantum mechanics

Hapgood is a play by Tom Stoppard, first produced in 1988. It is mainly about espionage, focusing on a British female spymaster (Hapgood) and her juggling of career and motherhood. The play also makes reference to quantum mechanics, including Niels Bohr's "The answer is the question interrogated"; Heisenberg's uncertainty principle; and the topological problem of the Seven Bridges of Königsberg. It is regarded as one of Stoppard’s weakest works.[1]


In the original production in 1988, directed by Peter Wood, Felicity Kendal played Hapgood, Nigel Hawthorne played her friend and superior Blair and Roger Rees was their agent, the Soviet scientist Kerner. The production was a critical failure,[2] and it was revised significantly in 1994 for the first New York production.

The play premiered in the US Off-Broadway at the Lincoln Center Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater on 11 November 1994 and closed on 26 March 1995. Directed by Jack O'Brien, the cast featured Josef Sommer (Blair), David Strathairn (Kerner) and Stockard Channing (Hapgood). Jack O'Brien won the 1995 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director.[3][4]


  1. ^ Billington, Michael (17 January 2015). "Tom Stoppard: playwright of ideas delivers a new Problem". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  2. ^ Edwards, Christopher (19 March 1988). "Trick of the light". The Spectator: 43–44.
  3. ^ Hapgood lortel.org, accessed 28 February 2016
  4. ^ Canby, Vincent. "Sunday View. A Witty Thriller By Tom Stoppard Doubles the Fun" The New York Times, 11 December 1994