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  • Articles by Mary

    The Hard Problem at the National Theatre


    Stoppard loves a good debate and now he has taken on “the hard problem,”  which is—what is consciousness?  (What does it do and do we need it?)  Through the central character of a woman psychology student  he poses these questions and some of the  counter-questions.  But alas, not surprisingly, he doesn’t answer them.  Instead the piece drifts into the more familiar territory of ethics, religion (does altruism exist? does God for that matter) and relationships. 

     

    Stoppard gives us an entertaining ninety minutes.  But in the end the analysis is not sharp and does not progress, and the back story is not strong enough to sustain the piece. Until 27 May.


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