I couldn’t resist this story as it is a startling and blackly comic example of the fact that being brilliant, as Newton and Hooke both were, doesn’t mean you can’t also be vain, paranoid, ridden with competitive jealousy and on occasions just plain stupid. David Williamson

Sydney: Nearer the Gods, by David Williamson is a gripping and funny black drama about how one of the greatest moments of scientific illumination almost didn’t happen. The play will open at Ensemble Theatre on 4 March 2022.

With his trademark wit and sharp observations, David Williamson exposes the abrasive personalities of revered scientific giants Sir Issac Newton and astronomer Edmund Halley to show even geniuses are not infallible.

Petty politics, inflated egos and fierce rivalries almost jeopardise one of the greatest discoveries in human advancement; Sir Issac Newton’s laws of motion.

Under the orders of pompous King Charles II (Sean O’Shea, THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR), determined young astronomer Edmund Halley (Rowan Davie) must wrangle the secrets of the universe from the brain of capricious and contrary Newton.

It may be 1684 but Williamson’s comic re-imagining through a contemporary lens puts the focus firmly on the human tale of rivalry and discovery, of personal trials against a corrupt establishment, of self-doubt versus arrogance, and faith versus reason.

We are thrilled to stage this brilliant play with a fine cast of actors under the direction of Janine Watson said Mark Kilmurry, Artistic Director, Ensemble Theatre.

Isaac Newton gave the world the greatest leap in knowledge we’ve ever been gifted. He showed that gravity wasn’t just some odd little local force that pulled apples to the ground but the powerful invisible glue that stretched to infinity and held our whole universe together.

What isn’t as well known is the intense drama surrounding the discovery. Drama which almost stopped it happening. The problem was two fold. Newton had one of the most powerful brains of all time, but just when that brain was needed he was on the verge of becoming unhinged.

Playwright: David Williamson
Director: Janine Watson
Assistant Director: Rachel Chant
Cast: Violette Ayad, Jemwel Danao, Rowan Davie, Gareth Davies, Sean O’Shea, Sam O’Sullivan, Shan-Ree Tan

Previews $77
In season $82
Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli

For further information please contact:
Susanne Briggs or 0412 268 320

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