Arts & Entertainment

Joining The Dots Theatre presents ‘Relativity’ by Mark St Germaine

Photo: Iain Cox

The theory of relativity is the theory of light connecting time and space. Essentially it’s the theory of gravity. Albert Einstein’s theory was that gravity warps space creating thermal energy as it does so. Interesting then that Joining The Dots Theatre Company has decided to present Mark St Germain’s Relativity, play about Einstein, at a time when keeping the lights on is such a problem.

Einstein was a definite genius from a very early age and went on to achieve greatness through quantum physics. Being part Jewish, he became a refugee during the second world war before becoming a citizen of the US. Einstein was a pacifist and yet encouraged America to look into nuclear weapons, which ultimately resulted in the atomic bomb. After his death Einstein’s brain was kept in a cookie jar for 30 years in order for scientists to discover the root cause of his genius and somehow replicate it.  

Imagine the questions we could have asked Einstein during his lifetime? Mark St Germain specialises in putting historical characters in imaginary situations and his play Relativity centres on an interview with Einstein in 1942 that may or may not have taken place. When asked why Joining The Dots Theatre Company chose to do this play Alison Whalley, founder and producer of the company, said her main aim in theatre is to present plays that inspire conversation and make people think. This, in turn, fosters meaningful questions. According to Whalley, “we idolise certain people and cut them off when they do something terrible. We are all human and all flawed. Even geniuses.”

Photo: Iain Cox

Is the journalist interviewing Einstein in Relativity more interested in the private or the public man? Is she more interested in what is good or in what is great about this man?

How do we define what is good and what is great in a human being? These questions and more are at the core of Joining The Dots productions.

“We are not trying to be controversial,” said Whalley. “We present a vein of truth and ask the audience to imagine what might have happened. We aim for purely an imagined outcome.”

Historical characters in imaginary situations is not a new concept. If it were we would have no stories to tell. How can we possibly know for certain every part of a person’s life if we were not there? We are generally presented with the most important events but what of all the moments, days, hours between those events? If, like me, you are someone for whom one question provides so many more, this is a new kind of theatre that provokes, entertains and engages with the mind.

Jun 29-Jul 9. Chippen Street Theatre, 45 Chippen St, Chippendale. $28-$40+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.joiningthedotstheatre.com.au

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