By Tom Morton-Smith
Performed by the RSC
Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Keen to push the tight barriers of my limited knowledge, and always up for entertainment, it was only logical to head off with Team Family to Stratford-Upon-Avon last Saturday to do my usual: listening; learning; impressed by the action on stage watching; interval ice-cream eating; gawping, cheering; and in the car home reflecting.
And the Royal Shakespeare Company’s latest inclusion to their Winter Season just typifies why everyone should be rushing off to purchase theatre tickets.
Oppenheimer ticks all the boxes and can place an extra two ticks next to thinking and learning ones.
So I didn’t come away with a PhD in physics, however I did start pondering some important stuff, specifically the creation and manufacture of deadly weapons – so not my usual Saturday evening deliberations. Furthermore, this play really gets you thinking about Integrity – your own, other’s and how adoption or neglect of it can really shape your’s and other’s lives.
Putting aside the big questions – this play also introduces some really fabulous characters. Some you’ll abhor (well I did) and some you’d love to have over for dinner. The writer (and players) deserve a big shout out here, for the dialogue/storyline’s absorbing and the characters so ‘real’.
Oh and the staging, two thumbs up. There’s chalk, there’s blackboards and there’s a lots of clever scribbling and thinking out loud. There’s also a great interval scene, where you’re in a bar and the singer and accompanying pianist makes you wish you could step back into the early 40s and stay a while.
I must also own up, I couldn’t really keep my eyes of the lead – John Heffernan – for when he talks, you listen. He grabs your attention and you can’t not pay attention.
It runs until the 7th March 2015
(Image sourced via google images)