★★★★ “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.


“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


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.

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


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

Win a Season in the Congo poster signed by Chiwetel Ejiofor & company!


6 lucky people will win a signed copy of the A Season in the Congo poster!  To be entered to win, simply retweet our trailer or like and share the trailer on Facebook.  We’ll announce the winners on Weds 7 August!  Tickets are still available to A Season in the Congo at youngvic.org.

The least we can do is know what happened

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joe Wright and Davin Lan visit the Yole Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joe Wright and Davin Lan visit the Yole Africa Centre in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

When David Lan first suggested I read A Season In The Congo I barely recognised the name of Patrice Lumumba. I vaguely remembered my South African father and his self-exiled friends mentioning him when I was a child. I didn’t know then that the rubber tyres of the bike I rode, or the copper in the cable that dispelled the darkness, or, as I grew, the uranium in the bomb I marched against or the coltan in the phone I prized or the diamond I declared my love with, I didn’t know that all these things that I took for granted as my right on the path to manhood were at the price of the right of the Congolese people to be truly independent, to escape poverty and conflict. And it was for that independence that Patrice Lumumba, and countless others, had died.

This play is not about race, it is not about racism or even colonialism as we imagine it, something of the past dressed in white linen; it’s about how the injustices of the past have shaped the injustices of the present, how economic colonialism is still being perpetrated today by a different cast of politicians, nations and corporations. The DRC’s curse is not its poverty but its wealth.

When David, Chiwetel and I travelled to the DRC with Oxfam, what first struck me was the violent contrast between the abundance of its natural resources and the deprivation of its people. It is a country nearly the size of Western Europe, where the land is so fertile it produces three crops of beans a year, and yet its level of malnutrition is the highest in the world. If all of the DRC’s arable land was cultivated it could produce enough food to feed the entire continent of Africa. But the land and the wealth of the Congo doesn’t belong to ordinary Congolese people. That’s what Patrice Lumumba was fighting for and that’s what the post-colonial western alliance killed him for. Lumumba wanted political, cultural and economic independence, but the governments we elected and industrialists we supported wouldn’t stand for that kind of loss to their coffers; they accused him of threatening our ‘way of life’, conspired to murder him, and dissolved his body in acid.

Looking back on our trip what I most remember now are the faces of the Congolese people we met: the women’s rights activist who, aware of the mortal danger she faced, publicly denounced a local warlord for ordering his soldiers to use rape as a weapon of war; the heavy brow of the elderly social anthropologist who’d spent a lifetime trying to make sense of the anarchy (as a teenager I thought anarchy was cool). The gentle smile of the young politician who, in the grubby parliamentary canteen, refused to believe that it wasn’t possible to eradicate corruption. The look of shock that still seemed to haunt Pauline Lumumba’s eyes. The children’s faces, thousands and thousands and thousands of them, lost, abandoned and forced to fend for themselves in the cruelest circumstances.

No-one knows how many people live in the DRC, no-one knows how many children there are or how many of them can read or write. No-one knows how many women are victim to sexual violence or how many families have been dispossessed by the fighting. But one thing I do know now that I didn’t when David suggested I read this play is this, that we are all complicit. The least we can do is know what happened.

A Season in the Congo is on at the Young Vic until 17 August, 2013. Book tickets at youngvic.org or call 02079222922.

David, Chiwetel and Joe travelled to the DRC with Oxfam. For more info on their work in the DRC, visit www.oxfam.org.uk/drc.