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Life of Galileo - Belvoir St Theatre

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by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
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A classic play of individual liberty & political suppression
Life of Galileo is a story about a man who takes us on his lonely, yet heroic journey to stand against the forces of authority.

This classic play by Bertolt Brecht is a production set in a time where governments just make the numbers and is based on individual liberty and political suppression; the wily, pugnacious scientist, Galileo (Colin Friels) coming to the conclusion that the entire system is based on lies as well as his back down when the forces of money and orthodoxy threaten him.

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


Adaptor, Tom Wright quotes "This is a concentration of Brecht's play. An act of concentration on its themes-price and value, facts and truth, how power co-opt innovation, the nobility of the mind versus the needs of the body..."

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


The play raises the question; does the great Galileo betray the system and the future? Or is it possible that he has found a more subtle way of speaking truth to power?

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


There are a total of sixteen scenes with scene one starting in February 1609 and the last scene ending in 1637. The play presents three cities, with the early scenes based in Padua, the university town of the Venetian Republic. Venice the trading port, the city of business which uses economic power to keep the church at bay; it's the marketplace of goods and ideas. The play then shifts to Florence with its duchy, aristocratic and roots in ancient verities, bounded by tradition, order, class, and feudalism. The final city is Rome and its power is spiritual, with it telling the world how to believe, what to believe; a city of ceremony, of theatre, of display, which also runs a powerful thought of police.

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


Despite the play being set in the 1600s, there are many modern takes on it, to bring it to today's world, with each sixteen scenes showcasing science and belief. Each scene has its own rules, own tone and their own subplots, with the church being the constant presence in each scene...

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


Life of Galileo showcases invigorating doses of honesty, love of facts, free thought, and the capacity to figure out how to do things through better ways.

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


The play is laced with humour, honesty, intellectual fascination, yet it presents intimacy too as well as presenting a driven personality, forceful minded and overindulgent man who senses his time is almost up, and the world is going to crap.

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


The cast featured Virginia (Laura McDonald), Barberini (Peter Carroll), Grand Duchess (Miranda Parker), Maculi (Damien Ryan), Ludovico (Damien Strouthos), Andrea (Vaishnavi Suryaprakash), Vice Chancellor (Sonia Todd), Fulganzio (Rajan Velu), and Galileo (Colin Friels). All cast members executed the play with great magnificence, conveying raw emotion with each character played.

Image Courtesy from Brett Boardman


Life of Galileo is an eerily prescient and not-to-be-missed play that portrays tensions between the pursuit of knowledge, the power of ideology and a scientist who changed the world- and suffered the consequences.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the Box Office.
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*Gypsy Rose was invited as a guest
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Why? A classic play of truth, lies and science
When: 3 August 2019-15 September 2019
Phone: (02) 9699 3444
Where: Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills
Cost: Tickets range from $30-$85pp
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