An Extraordinary Light

The double helix structure of DNA is knowledge that today we take for granted. But it wasn’t that long ago a select group of scientists were battling to come up with the answer. Rosalind Franklin was one of the people researching the make-up of DNA, yet her work was overlooked.

Katherine Godfrey plays Franklin sympathetically and gives time for the audience to take in some of the wordier more scientific explanations. She delivers a solid performance and champions Franklin’s cause well.

An Extraordinary Light attempts to demonstrate that Rosalind’s work was in fact vital to our understanding of human DNA. She photographed its structure proving that what Crick and Watson had surmised was truth. Franklin received a footnote of thanks whilst the two men went on to win the Nobel Prize.

Resembling a science class, a lecture and a piece of theatre, the play understandably comes across as a little didactic with its recounting of events in the life of Franklin. Her work was vital and it is encouraging that her story is being told.

Interesting in its material; informative and instructional in its delivery; Katherine Godfrey plays Franklin sympathetically and gives time for the audience to take in some of the wordier more scientific explanations. She delivers a solid performance and champions Franklin’s cause well.

Sometimes it feels more like an exhibition piece than theatre, but the production values are excellent and well thought out.

A thoughtful and concentrated piece that gives light to an inspirational woman and her contribution to science.

Reviews by Greg Smith

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Scientist Rosalind Franklin’s innovative experimental work on the structure of DNA helped Francis Crick and James Watson win a Nobel Prize. Yet Rosalind’s contribution went unrecognised for decades.

‘An Extraordinary Light’ celebrates the achievements and tragedy of Rosalind Franklin, who dedicated her life to science at great personal cost.

Written by Rob Johnston winner of The 2011 Kings Cross Award for New Writing at The Courtyard Theatre for ‘Einstein’s Daughter’.

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