The thin line between madness and genius has long been a subject of great fascination for audiences worldwide. Many of these stories have been based on real people and real events, though a lot of the time these tend to be treated by writers and movie makers with oversentimentality and loose truths.
Proof, however, is not one of these shows. A Beautiful Mind, it is not…and thank goodness for that.
First performed in 2000, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play follows Catherine, the daughter of a recently deceased mathematical genius, as she struggles to prove the authorship of a masterful equation. But, haunted by her father’s mental illness and love of maths, she worries how much of him is within her and whether following his footsteps is such a good idea.
Whilst the plot is fairly straightforward and not wholly unfamiliar, it is built with such intelligence and pace that the audience cannot help but be gripped. I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole way through.
The entire cast are absolutely wonderful. A great play fires into the stratosphere through the intensity and commitment of the four actors, who quite simply couldn’t be any better. The female lead was especially good, having to go through a multitude of emotions from start to finish and doing so with phenomenal ease. Top grade acting.
Occasionally, the sound in-between scenes could be a little bit loud and aggravated the ears a trifle, but this is a minor technical quibble that will no doubt have been addressed.
Though I had heard of Proof before, it is only now that I have finally gotten ‘round to sitting down and watching it. Boy, do I wish I’d seen it sooner. I hear there’s a movie of it about somewhere. I think I’ll give it a watch...Russell Crowe’s not in it, is he?
Show Times: 17-27 August 2012, 2:00pm
Ticket Prices: Aug 17-19, 24-26, £9.50 (£8.50); Aug 20-23, £8.50 (£7.50)