Following a sell-out run in Stratford-upon-Avon, Tom Morton-Smith’s compelling new play Oppenheimer transfers to the West End.
Staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and retaining the majority of its critically-acclaimed original cast, Oppenheimer takes a fascinating look at J. Robert Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’.
It’s 1939 and fascism is continuing to spread across Europe when two German physicists make a potentially devastating discovery: atomic fission. Spearheaded by the driven Oppenheimer, a group of theoretical physicists in California soon recognise the significance of this discovery and begin their own work on the weapon to end all wars.
Supported by a cast of 20, Morton-Smith’s masterful narrative creates a fast-paced and epic account of the Manhattan Project and the race to build the atomic bomb. This detailed, highly researched yet accessible play beautifully unites the scientific and the human, drawing audiences into the soul of a man for whom the personal cost of scientific advancement was almost unbearably great.
Playing at London’s Vaudeville Theatre from March 2015 for a run of just eight weeks, Oppenheimer tickets are sure sell out fast.
Age recommendation: 12+.
Running time: 2hrs35 (incl. one interval).
Performance times: Monday-Saturday: 19:30; Wednesday and Saturday: 14:00; additional matinée Thursday 9 April: 14:00.
Approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes + one interval
Additional Details & FAQ
- Cancellation Policy
No refunds available after purchase.
- How Does It Work
You will receive a confirmation email.
If you choose to collect your tickets at the box office you will receive a confirmation email with your booking reference, please print this and bring it with you on the day of the show a minimum of 30 minutes before the performance start time.
If you choose post - tickets are sent 5 days after purchase.
- Suitable For Children
Recommended for ages 12 years and above, although not a fixed age limited
- Where Do I Go
Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH.
- By Tube- Charing Cross (Northern, Bakerloo) Embankment (District, Circle)
- By Bus- 1, 4 , 6, 9, 11, 13 , 15, 68, 76, 171, 176, 18
Mar 13, 2015
"...As “Oppie”, John Heffernan is every inch a commanding boffin - pale, angular, debonair, his down-turned lips often curling in disdainful arrogance but very much the bright star with a cold core of iron. At times addressing us as though we were at a lecture-theatre (there’s even a blackboard for lightning-fast lessons), he often catches our sympathy unawares, tears forming as the weight of the war-effort, private griefs and wider responsibilities sits heavily on his shoulders. The cigarette-puffing period ambience is well caught; its inequalities too. Among the decreasingly happy women in Oppenheimer’s life, Thomasin Rand shines as his alluring botanist wife Kitty, while Catherine Steadman impresses as his live-wire, half-abandoned Commie-lover Jean Tatlock. Michael Grady-Hall, playing his estranged physicist brother Frank, gets a powerful scene urging him to share the new deadly knowledge with rival powers. The play could afford to blind us with even more technical data. But, overall, this ambitious attempt to encapsulate a complex scientific and historical chapter - and the contradictions of its leading light - delivers the dazzling spectacle of brilliant minds at unparalleled work during a time of unprecedented darkness."
May 22, 2015
The show was Brilliant all the actors were passionate in their roles and i would say the best show i've seen this year
May 17, 2015
First half was a little dry, no need for all the science, just the critical bits. Second half much better with excellent finale. The integration of Oppenheimer's sex life was not especially well done. Personally I think the director should have done a bit of a hatchet job with the script to turn into a great drama. Evan Parker (Professor of Physics)
May 15, 2015
Enjoyed every moment. Beginning of second half perhaps a little slow but soon I was concentrating with no effort.
May 14, 2015
A first class production covering one of the most difficult moral issues of the modern world. A reasonable knowledge of the events of the period would enhance the enjoyment. There are subtle moments in the play which might be missed otherwise. The play however was a mix of serious drama and satire and thus difficult to define. Perhaps the first half was two long in establishing the lifestyle and political beliefs of the characters at the expense of the arguments of the main dilemma. A mix of the private, political, and scientific life of the scientists - what a subject! The difficult technique of presenting the science was very well done, the military and security aspects less so. The play could do without the brief appearance of Albert Einstein and a rather cartoon figure of a Nazi officer. But a play not to be missed and superbly acted by the RSC.
Apr 26, 2015
outstanding performance and thoroughly enjoyable and informative
Apr 26, 2015
A new play with intelligence and entertainment. Excellent production Well worth seeing .
Apr 12, 2015
Excellent story and complex script well presented.The layering of the different issues ,social,technical and political was very well done.Worth seeing again. The only thing that detracted were the terrible seats and the lack of legroom.Time for the Vaudeville to refurbish
Apr 12, 2015
Well constructed yes but it was also long winded. Too long. Difficulty empathising with anyone in the drama. I thought the bit where the psychiatrist kisses Oppenheimer to be very strange.
Apr 12, 2015
Due to Google redoing their website, we were directly to the Vaudeville, Camden, so missed the first 20 minutes of the play. I enjoyed it, but when Oppenheimer in particular spoke softly, and especially at the end, it was virtually impossible to hear him at the back of the theatre. So what was his last speech about ? I have no idea - and I was not the only one.
Apr 10, 2015
A very powerful, compelling and gripping story. All acted superbly. I really cannot find fault with any part of the play.
Apr 10, 2015
Great play, never been so absorbed for 3 hours before. As a student it was really good for revision and did make various topics in physics quite clear.
Apr 10, 2015
This was a fascinating play given a magnificent production. Although a bit baffled by the science I was riveted throughout. As Oppenheimer,John Heffernen gave a superb ,utterly convincing and multi-faceted performance. Best play I have seen for ages
Apr 9, 2015
The evening did not live up to the expectation of me and my party. It was impossible to hear the leading man and thus we lost a lot of the impact of the play. All the other actors were audible but he was not. I don't know whether this was just due to the transfer of the play to the West End but it was disappointing. I am 68 but my companions were all in their 30s.
Apr 5, 2015
Excellent staging and storytelling! They explain physics and chemistry in a basic, easy to grasp way that doesn't dumb it down.