Hapgood: A Play by Tom Stoppard

By Tom Stoppard

Along with his regularly significant wordplay and impressive scope, Tom Stoppard has in Hapgood devised a play that “spins an end-of-the-cold-war story of intrigue and betrayal, interspersed with reasons of the quixotic habit of the electron and the confusing homes of sunshine” (David Richards, the hot York Times). It falls to Hapgood, a rare British intelligence officer, to aim to solve the secret of who's passing alongside top-secret medical discoveries to the Soviets, yet as she does so, the net of private betrayals—doubles and triples and doubtless quadruples—continues to multiply.

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HAPGOOD: Yes... Where? Right... ) RIDLEY: I'll kill you for this! - Eleven thirty where? Where? ) HAPGOOD: Ten Downing Street. RIDLEY: What? Oh, Jesus! HAPGOOD: Was that it? RIDLEY: No. I thought they were early. HAPGOOD: Who's Joe? ) Listen, I can't do this if you don't tell me what I'm doing. RIDLEY: I'll tell you when it's time to tell you. God almighty... I ought to slap you bowlegged. HAPGOOD: You don't mean Betty's Joe, do you? Ernie? RIDLEY: Ridley. HAPGOOD: Ridley. What's the silly cow been up to?

RIDLEY: Jack of spades. HAPGOOD: Snap!! Bad luck... ) RIDLEY: Leave it! Listen - Betty's Joe has been kidnapped - this is the people who took him. ) You want to talk to Joe - where's Joe, where's Joe? (He lifts the red phone now and puts it into her right hand, meanwhile putting the extra earpiece in his ear. ) HAPGOOD: (Into phone) Hello, where's Joe, I want to talk to Joe - I-Yes-yes-yes-Yes. I heard - can I talk to (RIDLEY relaxes. He takes the phone from her gently and replaces it. The phone call has taken perhaps fifteen seconds.

RIDLEY: Sure. Any phone that rings, don't pick it up. I'll pick it up. (He picks up the red telephone, looks at its underneath, puts it down again; from the bag he takes a simple 'eavesdrop' connection, a single ear-piece ready to be wired up into a telephone receiver; and a screwdriver. ) MAGGS: Good afternoon Mrs Hapgood, you came in after all. Do you want to see the decrypts? ) RIDLEY: Hello, Maggs ... aren't you supposed to be having lunch? MAGGS: Yes, sir. RIDLEY: Well, piss off then. Go to the pub.

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