Marcus du Sautoy explains why the fusion of science and theatre is proving an explosive combinationIt is striking that in the past 20 years nearly a third of the productions that have won the Evening Standard award for best play have included a leading role for science among the cast. Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen is practically a theatrical experiment in Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, while Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia is infused with the mathematics of chaos theory.I spent several years with theatre company Complicite during the development of their piece A Disappearing Number finding ways to perform the mathematics that obsessed the main characters GH Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan. And last summer I put the cast of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (surely a contender for this year’s prize) through their mathematical paces as we explored how to stage Christopher’s solution to his A-level maths question on Pythagorean triples as an appendix to the play.Many of these are examples of the theatre being inspired by the exciting and often mind-bending stories of science. But it is intriguing that the traffic has not been one way. Increasingly science is exploiting the vehicle of theatre to communicate its ideas. This summer …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books