8 things you probably didn’t know about Galileo Galilei

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Life of Galileo tells the story of Galileo’s life as his ‘heretical’ discoveries about the solar system brought him to the attention of the inquisition.

Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician. He played a major role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. Here’s 8 facts about him that you probably didn’t know.

1. Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy, on the 15th of February 1564, he died on the 8th of January 1642.

2. Galileo firmly believed that the Earth was not the centre of the universe, however he did not believe in his Kepler’s theory that the moon caused the tides.

heliocentric

3. Contrary to popular opinion – Galileo didn’t invent the telescope. He got the idea from a Dutch spectacles maker who had invented a spyglass. (He was the first to use a telescope to observe the sky, though.)

6. After 400 years, Galileo’s telescope still survives, and is available in the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza in Italy. The museum has two telescopes and objective lenses, which were built by Galileo himself.

galileo-telescope

4. For a brief period of time, Galileo also worked as an art teacher in the Italian city of Florence.

5. It took until 1992, three years after Galileo’s namesake spacecraft was launched, for the Vatican to formally clear Galileo of any wrongdoing.

galileos-spacecraft

7. The middle finger of Galileo’s right hand has been exhibited at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy.

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8. Galileo lost his sight in the last years of his life. It is said that he went blind because he used to observe the sun for long stretches of time while he was looking at sun spots with his telescope.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma. Book tickets now.


Image credits:

Portrait of Galileo Galilei by Giusto Sustermans (1636). Credit: nmm.ac.uk
Andreas Cellarius’s illustration of the Copernican system, from the Harmonia Macrocosmica (1708).
Artist’s impression of the Galileo Spacecraft courtesy of NASA
Galileo’s telescope courtesy of Museo Galileo, Verona, Italy
Galileo’s middle finger courtesy of Museo Galileo, Verona, Italy

 

★★★★ “Wonder-inducing, inspiring, pulls out all the stops” | Reviews for Life of Galileo

The reviews are coming in thick and fast for Life of Galileo. This stunning production by BAFTA award-winning film director Joe Wright sees Brendan Cowell star as Galileo with original music by The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands and out-of-this-world projections by 59 Productions.

Check out the reviews below and read what our audiences have been saying so far on Storify.

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★★★★
“Wonder-inducing, inspiring, pulls out all the stops”
The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★
“Joe Wright’s take on Brecht is inventive and absorbing”
The Evening Standard | Read the full review

★★★★
“Brendan Cowell is magnificent in the title role”
The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★
“This is a trip, and a good one at that.”
Time Out | Read the full review

★★★★
“Joe Wright’s visually stunning production”
What’sOnStage | Read the full review

Life of Galileo runs in the Young Vic Main House until 1 July 2017, make sure to snap up your tickets now.

Want more? Catch a behind the scene look at the cast in rehearsals, and production photography of the company on Lizzie Clachan’s phenomenal set.

Life of Galileo at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett Projections by 59 Productions (2)

Life of Galileo at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett, projections by 59 Productions.

11 Questions with the cast of Life of Galileo – Jason Barnett

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Jason Barnett in rehearsal for Life of Galileo. Photography by Johan Persson.

As we edge closer to the opening performance of Life of Galileo we took 5 minutes out with Jason Barnett who is playing the role of Federzoni. Jason returns to the Young Vic after appearing in Mad About a Boy in 2012.

1. Can you describe your character in Life of Galileo in three words?

The. Most. Important.

2. How did you find the rehearsal process in comparison to other productions you’ve been in?

It’s been hard. There’s an awful lot to excavate, but it has been fascinating every day.

3. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?

The space, the design, the integration of the music. I think it’ll be AMAZING.

4. Have you ever invented anything before?

Yes. Caribbean sushi!

5. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Catching up on Masterchef on iPlayer.

6. What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?

Doctor Faustus . . . or maybe Henry IV Pt 1 . . . or maybe Measure for Measure . . . or maybe Big White Fog . . . or maybe, or maybe . . .

7. If you could travel anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?

Tooting High St ‘cos South London rocks!

8. What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

The kids from Fame.

9. Who is your ultimate hero?

Martin Luther King.

10. If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?

The ability to lose weight at will.

11. If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?

I like the idea of being around for the Dizzy Gillespie / Miles Davis jazz era.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma.  Book tickets now.

11 Questions with the cast of Life of Galileo – Brendan Cowell

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1. Can you describe your character in Life of Galileo in three words?

Brave, wise and naive.

2. What’s it been like working with Joe Wright?

Joe’s a bit of a visionary. He has wild ideas but the uncanny ability to make them all assimilate effortlessly. And he has a big sweet heart!

3. How did you find the rehearsal process in comparison to other productions you’ve been in?

Well, we rehearse a lot. On Yerma, the script was being written whilst we worked, whereas with Brecht it seems crucial to analyse the text thoroughly before experiencing it.

4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?

We’ve taken a dense old play about science and tempted it into a sexy and visceral night of dreams and brutality.

5. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Getting dressed! I never got into drama school so I lack proper preparation. I try and make people relax.

6. What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?

Hamlet (all three)

7. If you could travel anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?

I am scared of the ocean and of anything beyond the earth, unlike Galileo. I’m happy with all I know to be real.

8. What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?
My sisters were singers and dancers growing up. Watching them made me want to make things up.

9. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
I would have liked to meet Jeff Buckley and maybe drive along the coast of Spain with him.

10. If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Will Power.

11. If you could relocate to another planet, which would it be and why?
No, I can barely control my feelings and curiosities for this weird and wonderful joint called Earth.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma.  Book tickets now.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

6 of our favourite songs from The Chemical Brothers 🎧

On Wednesday we announced that The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands will be making his theatre debut at the Young Vic to compose original music for Life of Galileo.

We’ve heard some sneak peeks of the music and you’re in for a serious treat with this one.

We wanted to celebrate this announcement by sharing our all-time favourite music from The Chemical Brothers. Now crank up the volume and we’ll see you at the Young Vic from 6 May! 👌

1. Galvanize

2. Hey Boy Hey Girl

3. Block Rockin’ Beats

4. Wide Open ft Beck

5. Go

6. Salmon Dance


Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma

Book tickets to Life of Galileo

The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands to compose original music for Life of Galileo

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We’re thrilled to announce that The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands is reuniting with director Joe Wright to compose original music for Life of Galileo.

BAFTA winner Joe Wright’s production of Brecht’s masterwork Life of Galileo will be accompanied by an original score composed by Tom Rowlands, founding member of the English electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers. Joe and Tom first collaborated on the 2011 feature film, Hanna.

When Joe approached me with the idea I was excited at the thought of doing something totally new. I was also happy to rekindle my creative collaboration with Joe as he always makes something inspiring and stimulating.” – Tom Rowlands

Galileo uses the newly invented telescope to make ground-breaking discoveries about the planets that set him on a collision course with authority. In challenging the idea that the earth is the centre of the universe, he is challenging the all-powerful Roman Catholic Church. Brecht’s timeless play about the conflict between science and dogma is more topical today than ever before.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic. Find out more about the show and book tickets here

📸 Image courtesy of The Guardian

Just released! A limited number of tickets for the opening night of Yerma

For the return of Yerma, the opening night on Saturday 29 July will be a special performance to raise funds for our Directors Program which supports emerging directors across the UK.

The production just won two Olivier awards on Sunday, adding to Billie Piper’s previous wins for this role including Best Actress Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Best Actress Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards and Best Actress WhatsOnStage Awards.

Tickets for the performance and an after party with the cast and creative team are priced at £250. All proceeds go towards our Directors Program.

As the most extensive scheme of its kind, the Directors Program offers support for professional directors at an early stage of their career. Opportunities include skills workshops, exploratory projects and paid assistant directing roles.

NT Live will also be broadcasting a performance live to cinemas across the world on 31 August (with encore screenings to follow). Book for NT Live now.

Book tickets to the Opening Night