“For ‘tis the sport to have the engineer Hoist with his own petard”

Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4

William Shakespeare

The RSC‘s Oppenheimer, telling the story of the creation of the nuclear bomb, has gained a surprising amount of five star reviews recently, plus a West End transfer. I went on behalf of Official Theatre.com last week, and you can read my full review here.

But in short:

A strong cast lead a weaker script in Oppenheimer. The story behind the creation of the nuclear bomb, the ethics, the growing fear of communism in the USA, life in Los Alamos, human life in the 30s and 40s; these are all interesting topics. Oppenheimer involves them all, which is both what makes its three hours enjoyable and thought-provoking, but also what creates its biggest problem: a lack of focus.

Oppenheimer (RSC) at Vaudeville Theatre3/5 stars

One thought on ““For ‘tis the sport to have the engineer Hoist with his own petard”

  1. Hello Alice,

    I saw this play yesterday, and agree with many of the things you said in your review. I felt it suffered from the same problem most biographical pieces have, which is how much of an individual’s life to explore and what to take out, whereas by deciding to cover both, there seems to be a lack of clear development (especially in Oppenheimer, which is surprising considering it is supposed to be about him). Having seen ‘The Curious Incident’, I also feel the use of chalk on walls will become a bit tired if I see it in any more productions. I concede that the cast gave great performances, but felt it would have been a more impactful piece if they had only focused on the creation of the bomb and on Oppenheimer’s personal plight, rather than divulging as much as it did

    I hope university is going well for you

    Kind regards,


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