Media Release: Church project sponsors play with a certain gravity

IN an unusual fusion of science, religion and the arts, the Church of Scotland’s Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) Project is sponsoring a performance of a play on the life of the famous scientist Isaac Newton; this takes place at the Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow ( at 7pm on Saturday 26th March. There will also be a discussion after the performance

The Menagerie Theatre Company’s play Let Newton Be! brings the complex character of Sir Isaac Newton to life: a devout, difficult, obsessive man who sought and found God in universal laws of light and motion.

Theatrical, entertaining and informative, the play gives a different way to see the world of Newton. It explores the life and thought of a genius whose scientific theories still provide the foundations for our understanding of the Universe today.

Newton is well-known as an iconic figure, but as a man, he remains a mystery to many. Award winning playwright Craig Baxter shows how Newton’s religious worldview was intimately involved in the process of discovery. The play uses only Newton’s word and those of his contemporaries to tell the story of his passionate pursuit to understand the universe. Let Newton Be! is a verbatim play, with a script drawn entirely from letters, notes, published and unpublished works.

The show is directed by Patrick Morris (associate artistic director of Menagerie) and uses three actors – all playing the part of Newton – with video and clever stage design by Issam Kourbaj (artist in residence at Christ’s College, Cambridge) to bring Newton alive for a 21st century audience. Let Newton Be! is accessible for both specialist and general (16+) audiences.

Trained as a scientist himself, playwright Craig Baxter weaves a compelling narrative to show Newton in many different lights. Theatrically simple and powerful, three incarnations of Newton battle with each other for their place in history. Let Newton Be! was commissioned by The Faraday Institute at the University of Cambridge, and was reviewed in Science Magazine:

Can theatre be a platform for science? In the hands of Baxter and Menagerie Theatre – yes, spectacularly yes… Baxter creates a unified Newton who will awe and move modern audiences. (Science, vol 326, 13.11.09)

For further information please contact policy officer of the SRT Project, Dr Murdo Macdonald (

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Press contacts/enquiries

  • For more information about the artistic team and Menagerie, please contact Patrick Morris on 01223-322111, mobile 07738 522515 or
  • Playwright, Craig Baxter, and director, Patrick Morris, are available for interview.
  • For more information about the SRT project and the Glasgow performance. Please contact Dr Murdo Macdonald, 0131 240 2267,
  • For more information about The Faraday Institute, please contact Douglas Leckie on 01223 740929 or
  • For more information about the tour of Let Newton Be!, please contact Emma Butler Smith or Cassie Bradnack on 01223 322111 or /

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Contact: Dr Murdo Macdonald
Phone: 0131 240 2267