Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Award-winning ‘PHOTOGRAPH 51’ at Ensemble Theatre

Ensemble Theatre is thrilled to present PHOTOGRAPH 51, inspired by the true story of scientist Rosalind Franklin’s discovery of the structure of DNA.

Awarded Best New Play and Play of the Year following its West End debut, this brand-new production of PHOTOGRAPH 51 will be directed by internationally esteemed director Anna Ledwich (Olivier award nominated Four Minutes Twelve Seconds and Dry Powder) at Ensemble Theatre from 2nd September until 8th October. 

We spoke to Amber McMahon, who plays the lead character Dr. Rosalind Franklin ahead of the show.

Tell us a bit about your acting career.

I trained at Flinders University Drama Centre in Adelaide before moving to Sydney to join Sydney Theatre Company’s Actors Company in 2006. Favourite shows under that contract were Barrie Kosky’s Lost Echo and Benedict Andrew’s production of The War of the Roses. Both eight hour epics! I’ve been fortunate to work with most companies in Australia on both new work and classics, drama and comedy. Photograph 51 is my third show with Ensemble and it’s lovely to be back!  

When you’re not acting, what are you doing?

When not acting I love swims in the ocean, road trips and seeing friends in shows. 

What is the show ‘Photograph 51’ all about? Who should come to see it?

Photograph 51 is about the discovery of the double helix which enabled scientists to understand how DNA works. We see different perspectives around how this happened, with Rosalind Franklin’s incredible contributions  positioned at the centre of the narrative. 

How similar or different are you to your character, Rosalind?

I would love to say I too wield a genius IQ like that of Rosalind’s but I am a wildly different personality. She’s a tough nut and I’m more of a soft fruit. This is why it’s such a fascinating role to play. There’s so much to play with and an incredible catalogue of new information to delve into. 

Describe ‘Photograph 51’ in three words.

Photograph 51: clever, surprising, human. 

Photoagraph 51 is on at Ensemble Theatre from 2 Sept to 8 October. For tickets and more information: