Enquiring Minds. "The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Ruysch" by Hilary Bell. Vitalstatistix. "Copenhagen" by Michael Frayn. Sydney Theatre Company [review]
Bramwell, Murray Ross
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While these are two very different productions - they are a world apart in theatrical style - they share a common reflection about what happens when Science Goes Wrong. Or do I mean: too Far, or too Weird, or when it presses on even when it can’t see what is further up the pipe. This is the Frankenstein question. What happens when the Good Doctor spends too many nights in the lab, messing about with frothing test tubes and the alchemy of Life Itself. Experimenting, as if he was …God, or somebody ? In the case of Doctor Ruysch, our pursuer of truth is in 17th Century Amsterdam, devoting all his spare time, assisted by his young daughter Rachel, to making art work of human anatomical specimens. Michael Frayn’s "Copenhagen" seizes on an event in the city of Copenhagen in 1941 when the Danish physicist Niels Bohr was visited by his former student and colleague, the German theorist Werner Heisenberg.