Life Of Galileo
, by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Eamon Flak and starring one of Australia’s best-known actors, Colin Friels, is soon to open at The Belvoir. In the words of Flak, “this play offers a great role for a great actor. I love how bracing its argument about truth is. It just presents the most fantastic argument about what a fact is, how a fact comes to life and, how it then lives or dies in the world. The play felt refreshing when we’re sort of swimming in so much bullshit at the moment.”
For those who may not be familiar with the play, it is about one man’s stand against the so-called, unarguable facts presented by the church. In Galileo’s case, he had worked out that the stars orbit the earth, which was not considered possible, as the church had said that the earth was flat. The play is, ironically, being performed on a ’theatre in the round’ stage, which, “brings everybody closer.”
Galileo has been hailed throughout the centuries by many as a hero but Flak, Friels and (writer), Tom Wright, are all pretty clear that Galileo was not a hero at all, but rather that he was, “compulsive, like many people are, in the need to understand. To see clearly, to speak and think freely, about the world.” At the crucial moment when Galileo was threatened with torture by the church, he recanted. Yet he did manage to publish his findings and smuggle them out just before he died.
“This is a play about how facts and truth assert themselves inside a situation of insanity and delusion. I think that right now the world is becoming a little terrifying. And this play is not optimistic, but it’s bracing, much like jumping into a cold lake. I hope people will feel revived by the experience.”
Until Sep 15. Upstairs Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $45-$80+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.belvoir.com.au