Vaudeville Theatre


27 Mar 2015 - 23 May 2015

£13.00 - £33.00

Pro reviewers rating
6 reviews

4.5 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
1 reviews

3.0 out of 5.0

1939: fascism spreads across Europe, Franco marches on Barcelona and two German chemists discover the processes of atomic fission. In Berkeley, California, theoretical physicists recognise the horrendous potential of this new science: a weapon that draws its power from the very building blocks of the universe. The ambitious and charismatic J Robert Oppenheimer finds himself uniquely placed to spearhead the largest scientific undertaking in all of human history.

Struggling to cast off his radical past and thrust into a position of power and authority, Oppenheimer races to win the 'battle of the laboratories' and create a weapon so devastating that, with the detonation of a single device, it would bring about an end not just to the Second World War but to all war.

As the political situation darkens, Tom Morton-Smith's new play takes us into the heart of the Manhattan Project and explores the tension between the scientific advances that will shape our understanding of the fabric of the universe, and the justification of their use during wartime, revealing the personal cost of making history.


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“Intense, and densely themed... but also delivered with ebullient energy... rightly leaves us hanging about Oppenheimer. ”

Arts Desk (other reviewers)

“Inspired... commissioning by the RSC, this epic biodrama seems astonishingly assured and mature. ”

Kate Bassett (The Times)

“Tom Morton-Smith’s epic new play isn’t formally groundbreaking, but it’s ambitious in the very best way. ”

Andrzej Lukowski (Time Out)

“A restless, intelligent and ultimately desolate drama, delivered in Angus Jackson’s RSC production with fizzing energy. ”

Sarah Hemming (Financial Times)

“The production has transferred well... A deeply thought-provoking, compelling and important new work. ”

What's on Stage (Other reviewers)

“Ambitious writing, stylishly directed and impeccably performed by an ensemble of 20... Outstanding. ”

Fiona Mountford (Evening Standard)

Reviews (0)