It’s been 17 years since Nicole Kidman was last seen on the West End stage, in a widely acclaimed production of David Mamet’s The Blue Room in which she appeared, briefly, in the nude. Now she’s back, starring as Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51, a play about the British scientist’s role in the identification of the DNA molecule. The show opens on 5 September.
Franklin was never officially recognised for her important work in this field, dying at the age of 37, four years before fellow scientists Francis Crick and James Watson were awarded a Nobel Prize for their discovery of DNA. The title of the play, which makes its UK premiere at the Duke of York’s Theatre, refers to an image of DNA produced in Franklin’s lab that proved crucial in identifying its structure.
Photograph 51 is directed by Michael Grandage, who brought stars including Dame Judi Dench, Daniel Radcliffe and Jude Law to the West End in the debut season of his new theatre company in 2013/14. He directed Kidman on the forthcoming film Genius, about the literary editor Maxwell Perkins, which was shot last autumn. The Oscar-winning Australian actor is best known for blockbusters like Moulin Rouge! and The Hours and appeared most recently as the villain in the family film Paddington.
As with Grandage’s most recent London season, a large proportion of tickets to Photograph 51 – 20,000 in total over the course of the whole run – will be sold for just £10 each. This accessible pricing scheme was crucial in terms of Kidman’s decision to take on the role, she said.
'To be able to reach out to a new and younger audience with over 20,000 tickets at just £10 is an amazing opportunity to help build future audiences.'
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