January 27, 2011


Nasa - A Human Adventure

The Tekniska Museet (Sweden's National Museum of Science and Technology), founded in 1936, offers "an exciting journey from the infancy of industry to grand visions for the future". It makes a perfect first venue for an exhibition charting the development of the organisation that has become synonymous with man's attempt to push back the frontiers of space exploration: Nasa (the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration). This traces the story from its beginnings in 1958 through the first rocket launches to today's efforts to investigate what lies beyond the solar system. The 400 items that will be on display, many for the first time, include satellites, space capsules and suits, engines and telescopes. The exhibition opens on 28 January and continues until 6 November, when it will tour Europe and the US.



This jointly written play, running in repertory at the National Theatre until 2 April, brings together four leading playwrights - Moira Buffini, Matt Charman, Penelope Skinner and Jack Thorne - to address some of the core questions around climate change. The team spent six months interviewing key players from the worlds of science, politics, business and philosophy in an effort to untangle the dizzying complexities and to determine who we can trust, what is happening to the planet and how we ought to respond. They then wove together a number of linked but separate stories into a compelling and provocative play. It will be accompanied by a number of debates featuring Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the government, as well as climate "sceptics" Nigel Lawson and Bjørn Lomborg.


Visceral: The Living Art Experiment

Art meets science in the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin from 28 January to 25 February, with an exhibition presenting 10 years' work by the ground-breaking Australian arts research lab SymbioticA. Featuring pieces by 17 artists, who all draw on the tools and methods of the biomedical sciences, it will explore the manipulation of life and themes such as neural engineering and blood wars in ways that both disturb and illuminate. "Materials" include human leather, semi-living dolls and nano-scale film projected on to the human eye, not to mention items "grown" in situ under the supervision of scientists.


Antonioni Project

The Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) was most famous for his pioneering 1960s film trilogy L'Avventura, La Notte and L'Eclisse. Now, as part of its international Bite festival of theatre, music and dance, the Barbican Theatre is hosting an epic adaptation by the Dutch company Toneelgroep Amsterdam, whose production of Shakespeare's Roman Tragedies has been seen all over Europe. Running from 1 to 5 February, the production recreates Antonioni's tense portraits of bourgeois life through live performances that are simultaneously filmed and projected on to a giant screen. Forthcoming events in the Bite season include Peter Brook's new version of the Mozart opera The Magic Flute (23- March) and Cheek by Jowl's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest (7-16 April).


The Children's Hour

Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour, originally staged in 1934, was one of the first to address the issue of lesbianism. Two women have struggled for years to build up their boarding school for girls, which at last seems to be flourishing. Yet an angry student runs away and, to avoid being sent back, starts spreading rumours that the headmistresses are having an affair. She even blackmails a fellow student to corroborate her story, which begins to take on a life of its own and eventually destroys all that the women have worked so hard to achieve. A huge theatrical success, the play was later adapted into a film called The Loudest Whisper (1961). A new production at the Comedy Theatre (until 30 April) marks Keira Knightley's return to the stage.

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