Stoppard’s comedy of porridge and chaos theory

The Synergy Theatre is returning once more to their studio venue, Kingston Parish Hall, Kingston-near-Lewes, with their production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.

Sidley Park, Derbyshire 1809. Lady Thomasina Coverly, a 13-year-old mathematical prodigy, is at her lessons with her tutor (and friend of Lord Byron), Septimus Hodge.

Through the window, the Capability Brown-styled gardens are in danger of being dug up to embrace the new fashionable Gothic style.

Around this chaos swirls Thomasina’s mother, Lady Croom, who rules the house with an iron fist while flirting with all the gentlemen.

Sidley Park, Derbyshire, the present day. Garden historian Hannah Jarvis (best-selling author of the biography of Lord Byron’s mistress, Lady Caroline Lamb) is trying to research the famous hermit of Sidley Park and fight off the advances of Bernard Nightingale, a university don researching Lord Byron and Valentine Coverley, the older son of the house and post-graduate mathematical biologist.

With all the hopping back and forth between the centuries, it is down to the family tortoise (Plautus or Lightning, depending on your era) to lend a little stability and gravitas to proceedings.

Led by Janet Lalla-Hamblin as Thomasina and Chris Church as her tutor Septimus, this comedy of porridge and chaos theory is being performed at the Parish Hall, The Street, Kingston-near-Lewes, from Wednesday to Saturday, April 8 to 11 at 7.30pm each evening.

Tickets, £7 each, are available from the company’s central box office on 01273 301444, from the Kingston village box office on 01273 474303, by email on or through the website For more information, visit