Arts & Culture

The Life of Galileo by the Oxford Theatre Guild

By John Charlton

Drama and science will collide at Oxford Playhouse when Oxford Theatre Guild presents Bertolt Brecht’s The Life of Galileo from Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 March. Oxford Theatre Guild (OTG), one of Oxfordshire’s largest and longest-established amateur theatre companies, returns to the Playhouse with a striking production of this classic, translated by one of our greatest contemporary playwrights, David Hare.

Hare’s translation of Brecht’s play portrays the great physicist’s conflict with the Inquisition over the place of the earth in the universe. Among the animations and images that will accompany the live action on stage will be a short video of an instrument used in Galileo’s time to model and calculate the perceived motion of the sun and other heavenly bodies – an armillary sphere. To make the video, Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science provided access to a beautiful late 16th century Italian armillary sphere in its collection. Members of the cast also visited the museum to study various astronomical instruments and learn how they worked.

OTG’s adaptation of Brecht’s masterpiece provides powerful drama laced with wry humour. Directed by Colin Macnee, The Life of Galileo features Richard Readshaw, in the title role.

Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 March 2018

Tickets for The Life of Galileo at Oxford Playhouse start at £10 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at