A Disappearing Number

Another film from National theatre Live, this one was broadcast from the Theatre Royal in Plymouth and brought back memories of his childhood for Keith. We had never heard of Complicite or Simon McBurney before, but will certainly keep an eye on them now.
The play is the story of the beauty of mathematics revealed through the story of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (played by Shane Shambu) and his relationship with GH Hardy (David Annen) at Cambridge and the modern day love story of a math prof (Ruth Minnen played by Saskia Reeves) and a very modern futures trader named Al Cooper (Firdous Bamji).
It is a great story, told with terrific staging that uses video, sound, and movement to support and carry it forward. It never distracts from the story, but enhances it. the relationship between the past and the future that forms much of the mathematical discussion is demonstrated by lines of people, who seem to stretch forever. It is hard to believe that there were only eight actors in total.
Apparently this was the last performance – one hopes not vever, although that is how it sounded.
I went home and downloaded “A Mathematician’s Apology” – the book in which GH Hardy tells the story of his friendship and work with Ramanujan.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Complicite, National Theatre, Simon McBurney. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Disappearing Number

  1. Keith says:

    Actually, the memory is of a Rolling Stones concert I saw (not heard – after the opening notes, all I heard was screaming. My hearing was probably never the same again.)The play is about math, death and connectedness. And despite that, it was wonderful.The staging was amazing and the performances balletic (if that's a word) – no dance numbers, but everything fluidly moving from one scene to another, covering a tremendous range without an elaborate set or large cast.I had never heard of MvBurney or any of the cast. However, if we'd have been in Plymouth I would have given it a standing ovation.Amazing!

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