A book of poetry about science is more than a bit of an anomaly, much like the double pulsar that Martina (Gabrielle Scawthorn) believes to have discovered in her study of neutron stars. On the eve of her making this discovery, she is being shadowed by Daniel (Tim Walter) a writer who has been commissioned to write poetry about the science of the stars. She is reluctant at first, but thaws after she makes her discovery, only to have her supervisor steal her thunder after he examines her findings before she gets a chance to.
Slow-ish to start, this play explores many themes: art, gender parity in the scientific world, and the ethics (or lack thereof) within scientific teams. Dan is infuriatingly oblivious to Martina’s feelings and adds a poem to the collection presuming to know how she feels, consequently she feels denigrated by the entire experience.
Belinda Giblin is excellent as scientist Geraldine Kell-Cantrall, also as leapard-print clad reception in the outback hotel where Dan goes to observe Martina in action. As Geraldine, Giblin is frustratingly cold and seemingly unsympathetic to Martina’s dilemma – or is she? The play’s success hinges on the amazing performance of Gabrielle Scawthorn, who gives a riveting turn as the young female scientist.
Tim Walter as Daniel brought the poetry of the piece to life and he is as impassioned in his fervent wish to record the artistry as Martina initially is in her unwillingness to participate. Christopher Stollery as Martina’s much older supervisor possessed the same ease with scientific language as Walter’s displayed with the poetry – he expounded on the topic of neutron stars with ease and a great command of Valentine’s material. His ultimate fate seems like a fitting, if extreme act of karma, leaving Martina even more conflicted at his actions. The entitled white male occupies all spheres, it would seem, and the scientific world is not spared of ego.
Beautifully written, Ear to the Edge of Time is a rare theatrical event: the marrying of science to more esoteric concerns, and ethical concerns that bend to the will of the individual at great cost to others. Performances and directing by Nadia Tass delivered these concerns in a completely mesmerising production.
Ear to the Edge of Time is presented by Sport for Jove and is on until 27 Oct, for more information and tickets see: https://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/ear-to-the-edge-of-time/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIluXvmYOe3gIVGCQrCh2L-wUwEAAYASAAEgLFbfD_BwE
Director: Nadia Tass
Featuring: Belinda Giblin, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Christopher Stollery and Tim Walter.