On the evening of Monday 28th March at London’s Royal Society, an audience of some 120 was treated to a virtuoso performance of Craig Baxter’s innovative play on science and theology in the life of Isaac Newton, Let Newton Be! Produced by the Menagerie theatre company, commissioned by The Faraday Institute, and with sponsorship from The Order Project, the performance was warmly received as an original and effective means of bringing to life one of the history of science’s greatest figures. The location was particularly appropriate, being the buildings of the society of which Newton was himself president between 1703 and 1727, and attended by both the previous and current presidents, Lord Martin Rees and Sir Paul Nurse respectively. The show was followed by an illuminating panel discussion during which four distinguished experts gave their thoughts on various aspects of Newton’s life and legacy, namely: Prof Rob Iliffe, Prof John Hedley Brooke, Lord Martin Rees and Prof John Barrow.
A flavour of the event can be discerned from the photographs below, from this review by Prof Rob Iliffe published in the Times Higher Education, and also from this review by Margaret Harris in Physics World. Above – The actors: William Finkenrath as Newton, David Meyer as Sir Issac, and Kate Malyon as Little Isack Above and below – The panel discussion: Prof John Barrow, Lord Martin Rees, Dr Denis Alexander (chair), Prof John Hedley Brooke, Prof Rob Iliffe Below – the audience