TEACHERS have been attempting to make science interesting since schools were invented.
And Michael Frayn almost manages it for a full two hours 45 minutes with his story of eminent Danish physicist Nils Bohr and returning protege Heisenberg. Then he did have real events to go at and in Henry Goodman, Barbara Flynn and Geoffrey Streatfield a cast of perfectly placed premium performers.
In short, the story centres on a meeting at the height of the war in which Heisenberg (Streatfield) returns from his native Germany and Hitler’s atomic bomb programme.
On a raw domestic set and just three chairs in Bohr’s home the two men orbit Bohr’s equally sharp-minded wife Margrethe like neutrons as they recall with verbal agility past theories, glories and pick at each other’s lives amid war-driven suspicion that seeks to dissolve their father/son-strength bond.
While some of the heavier science references threaten to plague the flow in parts they equally power the gravitas of the arguments beyond the shaken humanity of these passionate geniuses.
Director David Grindley keeps the dialogue in sharp focus as recall is re-drafted; smart lighting and narrative out-takes keeping us abreast of time-shifts in what could prove a baffling night. Ends Saturday.