Thursday, September 28

The Trials of Galileo – Greenside at Infirmary Street

In 1633, Galileo was put on trial by the Roman Inquisition, and he was found to be ‘vehemently suspect of heresy’ and put under house arrest.  All his theories and efforts to educate were treated as an act of rebellion against the church.  The fact that Galileo had been approved to write about his theories by the Pope made no difference to the outcome. 

Written and directed by Nic Young, this play delves into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the trial, which was conducted in Latin, and where he was threatened with the rack if he did not confess to something that he quite clearly was not guilty of.  Played by Tim Hardy in this one man show, Galileo now has the opportunity to put his side of the story across, during the trial he was spoken to in the third person, he was summoned from Florence on a 200-mile journey, and he was in no mood to be pushed into a declaration of guilt, when the penalties were so severe.

Tim Hardy inhabits the role of Galileo like a second skin, the catastrophic blow to his research, and any future research is communicated with understandable frustration and angst.  Everything works in this play, it is an interesting reminder as to how much power the church had back then, and that religion still has a huge role to play in today’s society, in different corners of the world.  Designer Deborah Lawrence has ensured that the props and costume fit the period and add to the atmosphere, and there is a feeling that this play could be adapted for schools if this subject is on the curriculum, if it has not already done so.

The attention to detail is evident from the drawings provided by Lou Yates which are reminiscent of drawings that Galileo may have made; through to the telescope on stage, Galileo was very proud of his telescope, which helped with his research.

From all angles, this play is a must see at this year’s Fringe Festival, the attention to detail, superb research and writing, and Tim Hardy’s excellent embodiment of Galileo, it is the history play choice of the fringe!

This play runs until the 26th August, to book tickets go to –

Reviewer: Caroline Worswick

Reviewed: 6th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.