Bertolt Brecht was the much revered playwright. The German poet and theologist was a proud Marxist, and as a matter of cause, his work was always littered with political commentary.
In 1947 Brecht produced his now world-renowned play Galileo. Galileo explores the question of a scientist's social and ethical responsibility as the brilliant Galileo must choose between his life and his life's work when confronted with the demands of the Inquisition. Through the dramatic characterization of the famous physicist, Brecht examines the issues of scientific morality and the difficult relationship between the intellectual and authority. Charting Galileo's, fight with the Catholic Church, this play quickly became a classic on the stage.
Director Roxana Silbert's has revived the play, and after a successful run in Stratford-upon-Avon, a production of Bertolt Brecht's A Life Of Galileo is in town. With Ian McDiarmid taking the title role, the play promises to be one of intrigue.
I studied Brecht at university, and his plays were certainly provocative, irrespective of the period in which he wrote them. I have yet to find a modern playwright who was as eloquent and effective as Brecht in both dialogue, stage directions and the resulting performance.
The fight between science and religion is as old as time, but I've yet to witness the arguments and debates in a formal theatre. Silbert is taking a risk with this play, but those who appreciate theatre about topics which raise more than an eyebrow will love this. I've booked my tickets.