Stoppard, Tom. The Coast of Utopia

A play in three parts

BAKUNIN, Mihail Aleksandrovič (1814-1876)HERZEN, Alexander. Nom de GERTSEN, Aleksandr Ivanovitch (1812-1870)Art: theaterSTOPPARD, TomNICHOLAS I, tsar of Russia

The Play

The Coast of Utopia was first performed at the National Theatre in London in the summer of 2002, in a production directed by Trevor Nunn

The Coast of Utopia is a trilogy. It includes three sequential but self-contained plays describing the rise of revolutionary Russia.. The action takes place between 1853 and 1865 in London and Switzerland. It follows a group of friends who come of age under the Tsarist autocracy of Nicholas I.

Stephen Dillane (Alexander Herzen) & Douglas Henshall (Bakunin)
Photo by Ivan Kyncl
Source: National Theater, London

The two central figures are the anarchist Michael Bakunin (in the first play) and Alexander Herzen, a nobleman’s son and the first self-proclaimed socialist in Russian history, who becomes the main focus.

Director: Trevor Nunn

Set, Costume & Video Designer: William Dudley

Lighting Director: David Hersey

Associate Director: Stephen Rayne

Music: Steven Edis

Choreography: David Bolger

Sound Designer: Paul Groothuis


Korf : Thomas Arnold

Malwida von Meysenbug : Eve Best

Stanislaw Worcell : John Carlisle

Lajos Kossuth/Perotkin : Martin Chamberlain

Nicholas Chernyshevsky : Raymond Coulthard

Nicholas Ogarev : Simon Day

Joanna Kinkel : Felicity Dean

Alexander Herzen : Stephen Dillane

Mrs Blainey, the Herzen’s nanny : Janine Duvitski

Mary Sutherland : Charlotte Emmerson

Teresina : Rachel Ferjani

Ivan Turgenev : Guy Henry

Michael Bakunin : Douglas Henshall

Mazzini/ Czerniecki : Richard Hollis

Olga Herzen as an adult : Jasmine Hyde

Alponse de Ville : Jack James

Louis Blanc : Will Keen

Emily Jones : Jennifer Scott Malden

A Polish emigré : Sarah Manton

Tata Herzen, older and as an adult : Anna Maxwell Martin

Ernest Jones : Iain Mitchell

Arnold Ruge/ Zenkowicz : John Nolan

Karl Marx : Paul Ritter

Gottfried Kinkel/ Pavel Vetoshnikov : Nick Sampson

Sleptsov : Jonathan Slinger

Parlourmaid : Janet Spencer-Turner

Tchorzewski : Kemal Sylvester

Captain Peks/ Sasha Herzen as an adult/ Doctor : Sam Troughton

Alexandre Ledru-Rollin : David Verrey

Natalie Ogarev : Lucy Whybrow

The Book

Grove Press; Slipcase edition (July 2003). 384 pages ; 2.09 x 9.06 x 6.0 ISBN: 0802140033

Part I. Voyage -

Part II. Shipwreck

Part III. Salvage

339 pages

For a summary, see The Complete review