“Our cleverness has grown prodigiously – but not our wisdom.” Sir Martin Ryle
The Only Light Was Stars – staged exclusively for the Hebridean Dark Skies
Festival – is a work-in-progress version of a brand new theatre show developed
by Karine Polwart, the follow-up to her widely acclaimed Wind Resistance.
In November 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe observes a “new star” in the
constellation of Cassiopeia. It’s not the birth of a new star at all, as it happens, but
a death, a supernova explosion. Brahe’s detailed observations revolutionise
European understanding of the Earth’s place in the universe. Four centuries later, British Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Ryle is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his pioneering work in radio astronomy. Yet Ryle’s last published work before his death a decade later is an anti-nuclear treatise
that poses the ethical question: should fundamental science be stopped?
Award-winning songwriter, folk-singer and theatre-maker, Karine Polwart
maps a journey that takes in pre-Galilean astronomy, constellation myth, Cold
War era jam-making, and the future-proofing challenges of 21st century nuclear
waste disposal. In doing so, she wonders: how can we be good ancestors?
Karine will also discuss the ideas behind her new show at 3pm on Saturday 8 February as part of A Day of Creativity and Curiosity.
Reviews of Wind Resistance:
‘remarkable and beautiful’