Tom Stoppard despairs of "Contest of Apology" England

In Tom Stoppard's new play Rock 'n' Roll, opening at the Royal Court Theatre in July, the character Lenka tells Jan, "Don't come back (to England), the place has lost its nerve; they put something in the water since you were here. It is a democracy of obedience. They are frightened to use their minds....They apologise for history, they apologise for good manners, they apologise for difference: it is a contest of apology". Being interviewed by Mark Lawson (Front Row 2nd June) Tom Stoppard said "I do think that something has been put in the water between 1968 and 1990. I think the phrases for it "a democracy of obedience", "a contest of apology" -yes, there are things about England now which challenge my congenital anglophilia."


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