Review: A Life of Galileo

Eve Rivers 3 February 2016

Bertolt Brecht’s ‘A life of Galileo’ is a wacky, wonderful experience, in which the audience is immersed, visually and emotionally into the life of the great scientific mind of Galileo Galileli. 

The set design (by set designer Al Ro)  is minimialistic, which works to great effect when combined with the briliiant projections (the brain child of Radu Thomas) which allow the audience to see where the scene is meant to be set, giving them room to imagine the 15th century setting as it was back then. The video projections paired with the ambient song choices (chosen by Francesco Anselmetti), one being Glenn Miller’s apt ‘Moonlight Serenade’ allow the audience to inhabit the same world as Galileo, when he looks through the telescope and sees the moon, the audience can see the moon too as it is projected on the corpus playroom walls. Sometimes however, these projections are quite jarring, and at times can distract from the events of the play. 

Elinor Lipman in particular shines as the impertinent serving woman Mrs Sarti, whose charming accent and persona grabs the audience's attention, whatever scene or role she is in. However, more could have been made of Ludovico, interpreted by Adam Butler-Rushton, who adds great comedic value to the play, especially in his early interactions with Galileo, played by Adam Mirsky

The content of the show, while engaing, is sometimes hindered by the slow pacing and often convulted dialogue that could have been made snappier.Therefore emotional moments are disjointed and comedic timing lost. Overall, however, 'A life of Galileo' is a very enjoyable watch and a show that I would definitely recommend.