Reviews 2009

Rebecca Stott & Hannah Morrish,Science Magazine 13.11.09

…Can theater be a platform for science? In the hands of Baxter, Morris, and Menagerie Theatre — yes. Spectacularly yes. Baxter cuts a man of science from the cloth of his own words, seeking to persuade us that Newton’s science was always driven by a belief in an all-powerful and ever-present “God of Dominion.” From the ramblings, jottings, accounts, and notebooks — the spillings over of Newton’s strange inner world — Baxter creates a uni?ed Newton who will awe and move modern audiences. This is Newton fully in three dimensions.

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Graham Lawton, New Scientist 9.11.09

…The impression the play leaves is like the afterimage on Newton’s retina when he stared at the sun to better understand light: uncomfortable, but hard to here for full review

John Cornwell, The Tablet 24.10.09

Britain’s great veteran theatre director, Peter Brook, used to complain that you can’t put science on the stage: “Scientists are boring as people; and how do you make atoms and molecules interesting.” But his contention is being blown out of the water nightly this week at Trinity College, Cambridge, with the performance of a gripping new play about Isaac Newton by Craig Baxter. Performed by the Menagerie Theatre Company, the cast of three actors play the scientist at different stages of his life. The inquisitive schoolboy measures the wind; the obsessive researcher inserts a bodkin behind his eyeball to investigate optics; finally Sir Isaac, President of the Royal Society and Master of the Mint battles with the counterfeiters. This ‘trinity’ of Newtons are mostly on the stage together, arguing and speculating. Religion is a crucial. The young Isaac recounts his sins, and notes with disgust the older, self-indulgent Newton vomiting into his chamber-pot. The grey haired staunchly Unitarian Sir Isaac winces at his younger self swearing devoutly by the Holy Trinity. Newton emerges warts and all as a restless, fascinating genius: anything but boring. The play’s text, drawn from Newton’s work (his writings are being currently stored on-line in the Newton Project at Cambridge), provides an absorbing insight into the troubled relationship between science and theology at the Enlightenment. The production, set to tour the country next year, should prove an unusual educational opportunity. It is sponsored by the highly imaginative and energetic Faraday Institute for Science and Religion:

Rebecca Scott and Hannah Morrish, Books et al. 13.11.09

Newton in Three Dimensions  – “Two hours after the end of the play we were still in deep conversation about it in a Cambridge pub….we went with different expectations and interests but came out equally excited. And we’ve gone on talking about the play since, as a body of ideas and as a theatrical experience. It deserves to be seen internationally….” Click here to read full review