Hapgood runs a British counter-espionage agency in Mayfair and someone is leaking information to Moscow. Hapgood suspects Ridley, CIA agent Wates suspects Hapgood and head of British Intelligence, Blair suspects Russian physicist and double agent Joseph Kemer. Code-named Mother to her agents, Hapgood is also the mother of an eleven-year-old son at prep school, the result of an affair with her British “joe”, Kemer. It will need all of Hapgood's famed chess-expertise to reveal the mole in their midst.
Bernard has arrived to uncover the scandal which is said to have taken place when Lord Byron stayed at Sidley Park.
Tom Stoppard’s absorbing play takes us back and forth between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperament, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life – ‘the attraction which Newton left out’.