Stage Door News

Toronto: Tom Stoppard’s “Leopoldstadt” will no longer play Toronto in 2022

Sunday, December 19, 2021

The arrival of the Omicron variant in Toronto has caused its first major cultural casualty. The eagerly awaited North American premiere of Tom Stoppard’s award-winning new play, Leopoldstadt, due to arrive with its lauded London cast on January 22, 2022 for a seven-week engagement at the Princess of Wales Theatre, will no longer be making the trip across the Atlantic, as announced today by David Mirvish, the show’s Toronto presenter, and Sonia Friedman, the production’s producer.

“With a heavy heart and deep regret I am very sorry to announce that we will not be able to present Sonia Friedman’s brilliant production of Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece, directed by Patrick Marber,” David Mirvish said. “The sudden arrival of the Omicron variant has made it impossible for me to fulfil my dream of presenting Leopoldstadt, a play that greatly moved me when I saw it in January 2020 at its first preview performance.

Leopoldstadt is an enormous endeavour — a large-cast production with an opulent and lavish set, telling a story both epic and intimate by the finest playwright working today in the English language, and brought to life by a team of collaborators that includes some of the greatest talents in theatre.

"I always knew the financial risks involved in bringing this extraordinary production here, and I was happy to take them if it meant that Leopoldstadt could be seen by Toronto audiences. That’s how much I believe in the power of this very special play.

“By programming it in 2022, almost two years from the start of the pandemic, we thought we would be protected from the vagaries of Covid-19 and would be able to present the play in Toronto in a relatively safe environment.

“But the new variant that’s only recently arrived and the ensuing government regulations — capacity restrictions announced this past weekend by the Ontario government and the non-essential travel advisory issued by the federal government, with looming border closings and quarantines expected — have complicated logistics.

“More importantly, the health risks involved in bringing a company of more than 30 artists from the UK are too enormous at a time when there is more uncertainty than ever before in this pandemic.

“But I’m not giving up on Leopoldstadt. I’m determined to present this magnificent play in Toronto sometime in the future when it is safe to do so.”

Leopoldstadt was to have been on the seven-show 2021-22 Mirvish main season subscription. Another production, to be announced as soon as it has been contracted, will be added in its stead at the very end of the season.

Non-subscription patrons who hold tickets to Leopoldstadt will be contacted about their options for exchanges to other shows and refunds.