The three night run of Stella at the Greenwich Theatre begins on Thursday 11th July. The first night performance will be followed by a Q&A session with the play’s writer Siobhán Nicholas and astronomer Radmila Topalovic.
StageScite caught this new play about Caroline and William Herschel when it premiered at the Old Market Theatre in Brighton in May 2013. Actors Chris Barnes and Kathryn Pogson joined Nicholas on stage to play the four roles, with Barnes doubling up to play the both the husband of present-day astronomer Jessica and William Herschel in the 18th Century. Nicholas herself took on the role of William’s sister Caroline who was his sometime assistant and an accomplished astronomer in her own right.
When musician Bill is offered a job with an orchestra in Germany, the chance to relocate raises a conflict with his wife Jessica whose own successful career as an astronomer is rooted in England. Jessica is also following her historical interest in the Herschels, which takes her on a research trip to Bath to study Caroline Herschel’s private diaries. As Jessica’s investigations progress and her relationship with Bill becomes increasing strained, we are presented with interleaved scenes from the lives of the Herschels, whose own individual aspirations and careers are also pulling them in different directions.