On Monday night I had the great fortune of seeing Nicole Kidman in Photograph 51, at the Noel Coward Theatre in London.
It tells a story of Rosalind Franklin, a British scientist working at Kings College in post-war London.
The story revolves around the discovery of what we now know as the DNA strand between Franklin and a bunch of male scientists. In the beginning the divide between the sexes is prominent, Franklin arrives at Kings College being referred to as ‘Miss Franklin’ as opposed to ‘Doctor Franklin’. She also discovers that the role she moved back to England for as head of her own research project has now been down-graded to assistant to Maurice Wilkins. – I wont give the whole plot away but it definitely highlights the sexist attitudes towards women in the day, and especially in the field of science where it was most uncommon to see a woman in a lab… let alone running one!
Directed by Michael Grandage, the way this play has been constructed really engages the audience. The subject matter and the scientific background it is all based on could easily be dry viewing, but surprisingly there was a lot of humour and drama that at points had me on the edge of my seat.
Kidman’s performance literally had me captured from the moment she stood on the stage. She has a way of transforming herself into the character so well that you forget who you are looking at.. even if you recognise her face. I am struggling to find the words to describe how good she was.. I genuinely think it was one of the best performances I have seen on the stage.. and I’ve seen a lot!
If you have the opportunity.. GO!