Nadine Garner (The Blake Mysteries) stars alongside Gig Clarke (The Code), Nicholas Denton (Wild), Paul Goddard (Pulse), Yalin Ozucelik (Othello) and Dan Spielman (Macbeth) in the Australian premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51, a delicate exploration of sacrifice in the pursuit of science, love and a place in history.
Opening on Thursday 7 November at Arts Centre Melbourne, Pamela Rabe directs this moving portrait of brilliant British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who battled sexism and isolation in the race to capture the ‘secret of life’.
In 1952, Rosalind Franklin used X-ray diffraction photography to examine the intricate structure of DNA, but her trail-blazing work was never recognised. Threatened by her brilliance, Rosalind’s rivals at King's College London scandalously stole her research and were awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the double helix.
Pamela Rabe said, ‘I love science. I love thrillers. I love forgotten history. And particularly the forgotten stories of women who have changed our world. Rosalind Franklin should be a household name – she was a key contributor to one of the greatest discoveries of modern times. But because of the era she lived in, working with singular focus and meticulous skill in a field dominated by men, she paid a price. I can think of no one better to embody her ferocious intelligence, independent spirit and prickly integrity than Nadine Garner, and I look forward to audiences being beguiled by Rosalind’s story. This beautiful, delicate play invites us to put her back in the picture.’
Pamela Rabe has directed Jumpy, Solomon and Marion and Elling for MTC; In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, Elling, and The Serpent’s Teeth: Citizens for STC; and Porn.cake for Malthouse Theatre. As an actor, she has appeared for MTC in more than forty productions including The Children, His Girl Friday, Hamlet, Boston Marriage, God of Carnage, Things We Do for Love, Dinner, Blithe Spirit, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Little Night Music, Private Lives, A Room of One’s Own, Cosi, Lost in Yonkers, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, The Heidi Chronicles, Too Young for Ghosts, Medea, and Top Girls. She has performed for most major theatre companies in Australia, notably in ten productions as a founding member of STC’s Actors Company, including The War of the Roses, The Lost Echo, and Mother Courage and Her Children. Her other STC productions include The Cherry Orchard, Holy Day, Three Sisters, and The Ham Funeral. Most recently, she has appeared for Belvoir in The Glass Menagerie and Ghosts, and for Malthouse Theatre in The Testament of Mary.
Anna Ziegler is an award-winning playwright who received London’s WhatsOnStage award for Best New Play in 2016 for Photograph 51. It was selected as a Best of the Year play by The Washington Post and The Telegraph. Her play Boy was nominated for the 2016 John Gassner Award by the NY Outer Critics Circle. In 2017, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Manhattan Theatre Club and The Geffen Playhouse premiered her play Actually (winner of the Ovation Award in Los Angeles for Playwriting of an Original Play), and Roundabout Theatre Company produced The Last Match. The Geffen Playhouse will produce her new adaptation of Antigone in 2019. Her work has been or will be produced on the West End, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theater J, Theaterworks, The Magic Theatre, Playwrights Realm, and City Theatre, and developed at Sundance Theatre Lab, The O’Neill Playwrights Conference, NY Stage & Film, Soho Rep and the Cape Cod Theatre Project, amongst others. She holds commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, The Geffen Playhouse, Second Stage Theater, Seattle Rep, and Grove/Whitman Productions.
‘A beautiful, tender, and surprising play.’ The Stage
Cast Gig Clarke, Nicholas Denton, Nadine Garner, Paul Goddard, Yalin Ozucelik, Dan Spielman
Director Pamela Rabe
Set & Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Costume Designer Esther Marie Hayes
Composer & Sound Designer Mary Finsterer
Voice & Dialect Coach Anna McCrossin-Owen
1 November – 14 December
Thursday 7 November
03 8688 0800
Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio