Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Review: PHOTOGRAPH 51

Northern Beaches Mums Susan got the opportunity to see PHOTOGRAPH 51 at the Ensemble Theatre and she sent us this lovely review…

The incredible story of Rosalind Franklin

Set in post WWII Britain, Photograph 51 is a gripping story of courage, tenacity and the pursuit of scientific excellence in a field dominated by men. 

Rosalind Franklin was an impressive trailblazing British chemist known for the discovery and understanding of the molecular structures of DNA. 

Born in 1920 into an educated family, Rosalind developed an early fascination with physics and chemistry.  At a time when there were very few female Scientists, she rose through the academic ranks of Cambridge and earned her PhD in 1945.

A simple but beautiful set presents on opening, a lab bench surrounded by scientific instruments and props. 

What may be considered by some as a dry subject, the delivery is surprisingly warm, fast, and witty, with humour sprinkled throughout the dialogue. There are many references to nerdy witticisms as Rosalind intelligently and subtly points out the blatant sexism among her peers in British academia.  

The costuming perfectly depicts the English 1950s conservative values, and the skillfully mastered accents transport us to a time and place in history that was pivotal in the world of scientific discoveries. 

Photograph 51 – the title of the play and the number of an actual photo in a series of experiments – is a critical element in depicting the discovery of DNA. The story behind this photograph tells us how Rosalind bravely overcame her obstacles both personally and professionally.

The show has a run time of 90 minutes and is recommended for ages 12+. It is running to the 8th of October at Ensemble Theatre. For tickets go to https://www.ensemble.com.au/shows/photograph-51/

Photograph 51 is a clever homage to a woman who changed history.