Almost unique among British playwrights in being politically effective as well as politically active, Tom Stoppard wrote the television play (Professional Foul) that interpreted and defined the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia before the rest of us noticed it was happening. But the adjective “Stoppardian” mainly (and correctly, I think) applies to those stage works that exploit the resources of theatre to create a poetry of multiple transition — or, to give the concept a title, Jumpers. Another play, Travesties, was the first thing of his I saw, and I am still bowled over. He would be my dream interviewee exccept for the fact that he cares too much for language to say what he has said before. That makes him fatal to talk to before the show starts, but on this occasion I think we got away with it.