Nearer the Gods is David Williamson’s newest play. It is also the first production to christen Queensland Theatre’s new Billie Brown Theatre, which has recently undergone a $5million transformation.
Nearer the Gods is a play where David cleverly uses a fascinating historical moment to tell a story about how our intellect, no matter how great, can be corrupted by baser instincts like hate and self-doubt.
The time in question is 1684 – a time when the scientific secrets of the universe are being discovered by, among others, the genius mind of Isaac Newton. The play is also about the relationship between Isaac Newton and Edmund Halley and about how the document that contains the ideas that Newton is most famous for – The Principia – almost didn’t come to publication because of human ego and ambition.
Bringing this multi-layered story to life is Queensland Theatre Artistic Director, Sam Strong, and two of Australia’s leading actors – William McInnes and Rhys Muldoon. William plays the larger than life character of King Charles II, a person who in William’s own words was a big party animal, who loved a good time, the theatre, and lots and lots of women. King Charles also loved, and was genuinely interested in, science.
Rhys Muldoon plays the egotistical scientist Isaac Newton, who is very much the central figure of the play. Newton’s laws of motion – the most famous being “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” – were being discovered and documented at this time.
All parties involved in the production are thrilled to be performing at the new Billie Brown Theatre, Brisbane’s first corner stage. The theatre is designed in such a way that the entire 351 people in the audience feel an intrinsic part of the action.
You too can be a part of the action from October 6 until November 3.