“I am lead lined. I am tungsten”.
Last time I saw Oppenheimer was the last performance in the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. This was on the Swan’s thrust stage and when I left the theatre, the stage was covered in chalk and daffodils. Here was another transfer from Stratford that has moved from a thrust to a proscenium arch stage, and having loved the production, I was curious to see how it would work in a West End theatre.
A piano and a blackboard are juxtaposed on stage, and in many ways these two props symbolise the structure of Tom Morton-Smith’s narrative. The staging moves between a lecture and the social world of the characters. The play starts with a party and later in the play there is a grotesque reflection of this as the cast dance in the lights and night of the atomic bomb.