A LIFE OF GALILEO with Ian McDiarmid Begins 28 Feb at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Translated by leading playwright, Mark Ravenhill, A LIFE OF GALILEO is arguably Brecht's greatest play and charts the renaissance scientist's extraordinary fight with the Catholic church over his assertion that the earth orbits the sun.
In the year 1609, brilliant scientist Galileo makes an astonishing discovery that will change the world. But as he sets out to prove that the sun moves around the earth he creates uproar and finds himself facing the wrath of the church.
This acclaimed play about the father of physics opened at the RSC in February 2013. Now revived at Birmingham Repertory Theatre the production is part of Epic Encounters - a feast of theatre, events, debates and hands-on activities inspired by the plays and poems of Bertolt Brecht (22 February - 12 April).
Ian McDiarmid is perhaps best known for his iconic role as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) in George Lucas' Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars - Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars - Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. His other film credits include Sleepy Hollow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Gorky Park and Dragonslayer. Ian's recent theatre credits include Maximus in Emperor and Galilean for the National Theatre, the title role in John Gabriel Borkman for the Donmar Warehouse and the father in Rupert Goold's Six Characters in Search of an Author for Chichester Festival Theatre.
The cast also includes Matthew Aubrey (Andrea), Paul Hamilton (Federzoni), Chris Lew Kum Hoi (Cosimo de Medici), Katherine Manners (Virginia), Elizabeth Marsh (Mathematician), Patrick Romer (Cardinal Inquisitor), Jo Servi (Barberini), Sadie Shimmin (Sarti), Paul Westwood (Ludovico) and Cath Whitefield (Gaffone). All other parts are played by the ensemble.
Roxana Silbert is Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Previously she was Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where her work included Dunsinane, A Soldier In Every Son, Measure for Measure and Richard III. Other directing credits include Tartuffe and Orphans for Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
The production is designed by Tom Scutt, music and sound by Nick Powell, movement by Struan Leslie and lighting by Rick Fisher. It is presented in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatre Royal Bath productions.
Performance Times: Mon - Sat 7.30pm, apart from Tue 4 March at 7.00pm. Matinees at 2pm on Thu 6 and Sat 8 March
After Dark post show discussion - Wed 5 March
Tickets: £12.50 - £35 with concessions available
Box office: 0121 236 4455 Online booking: birmingham-rep.co.uk
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre
10 - 15 March
01242 572573 / everymantheatre.org.uk
Bath Theatre Royal
17 - 22 March
01225 448844 / theatreroyal.org.uk
Rose Theatre, Kingston
0844 821 556 / rosetheatrekingston.org
Cambridge Arts Theatre
31 March - 5 April
01223 503333 / cambridgeartstheatre.com