The Times, reviewing the first production in 1993, praised it as a "perfect marriage of ideas and high comedy".[37] But for some, the ideas overwhelmed the comedy: "[T]oo clever by about two-and-three-quarters," noted The Daily Mail. "One comes away instructed with more than one can usefully wish to know."[38] After an eight-month run at the National, the play's transfer to the West End gave an opportunity for re-appraisal. The Daily Telegraph critic commented: "I have never left a play more convinced that I had just witnessed a masterpiece".[39]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times described the play as "Tom Stoppard's richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and, new for him, emotion".[32] But other New York reviews were mixed or unfavourable, complaining of the anachronisms and lack of realism.[40]

The 2009 London revival prompted more critics to laud the play as "Stoppard's finest work".[41] Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian that the play "gets richer with each viewing. ... [T]here is poetry and passion behind the mathematics and metaphysics."[42] Johann Hari of The Independent speculated that Arcadia would be recognised "as the greatest play of its time".[43]

The 2011 Broadway staging met with a mixed reception. Ben Brantley of The New York Times called the production "a half-terrific revival of Mr. Stoppard's entirely terrific Arcadia", noting that "several central roles are slightly miscast", and "some of the performances from the Anglo-American cast are pitched to the point of incoherence."[44] Similar concerns were raised by critics from the New York magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, Time Out New York and Bloomberg News.[45]

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