2015 Oppenheimer

(back to Stage)



“[…] But so are his co-researchers and students: Edward Teller (Ben Allen), the Hungarian super brain who was then already hatching the hydrogen bomb, Hans Bethe (Tom McCall), German refugee with a cause and the means to fulfil it, Giovanni Rossi Lomanitz (Oliver Johnstone), Bob Serber (Jamie Wilkes) and Joe Weinberg (Daniel Boyd), they all appear to be like lost electrons, buzzing about in the same space as Oppie, who is as much one of them as the attracting proton and also the splitting particle. […] It is this meticulous depiction of human relationships in all their imperfection, that is the ensemble’s and the production’s foremost strength. Scary and stunning! […]”

“[…] But of all this would be for nothing if the play was miscast. Happily, gloriously, it is not. No one here gives anything other than a first-class performance. […] But some are truly exceptional. […] Oliver Johnstone makes the teenage genius, Lomanitz, a real treatand the scene where he returns from the front line and begs Oppenheimer for assistance in securing employment is heart-breaking. […] This is a young, vital and terrifically talented cast – which bodes well for the next twenty years for the theatre. […]”

“[…] Oppie becomes complicit in his students Weinberg (Daniel Boyd) and Lomanitz (Oliver Johnstone) being drafted to keep them out of the project, because of Socialist views Oppie himself had instilled in them;  […] Morton-Smith has provided a lot more strong roles, and Angus Jackson’s production has plenty of powerful performances […]”

“[…] Despite the fascination of Heffernan himself, the ensemble is core to the play’s strength. Fellow-scientists explain and scribble and offer glorious metaphors of the power of the split atom […] They emerge as distinct characters: […] OR the Europeans Lomanitz […]”

(anyway, Lomanitz was American, not European, his father named him Giovanni Rossi after the Italian socialist Giovanni Rossi)