Review: Explosive story tells a frightening tale of death and power

Royal Shakespeare Company production of'OPPENHEIMER'by Tom Morton-Smith'directed by Angus Jackson
Royal Shakespeare Company production of'OPPENHEIMER'by Tom Morton-Smith'directed by Angus Jackson

Oppenheimer, Royal Shakespeare Company, Swan Theatre until March 7

Taking on the personal struggle of a man tasked with changing the future of humanity alongside a global threat of war and politics, there was plenty for the RSC to gets its teeth into with Oppenheimer.

Tom Morton-Smith’s powerful drama took us on a sincere and frightening journey.

We see the ambitious and brilliant mind of J Robert Openheimer -father of the atomic bomb, cursed with an intelligence so great it could wipe out civilisations - alongside Oppie, popular lecturer, friend and family man struggling with his own cursed fate.

Neither is favoured or judged in almost three hours of drama. Using clever stage props, dance and chant-like choruses, there is a sense of excitement from the start.

But things really take off in the second half when the enormity of the bomb shatter illusions both on and off stage.

The show has an explosive energy, hair -raising, tragic and thought provoking.

Even the face behind Opppie himself (John Heffernan) seemed troubled and moved by his own performance as the curtain fell on a gripping and thought-provoking play.

Rating 8/10

By Hannah Smith