“Photograph 51” By Anna Ziegler 

photo51“Photograph 51”
By Anna Ziegler
Performed by: Matthew Arkin, Maxwell Caulfield, Miriam Margolyes, Jon Matthews, Darren Richardson, Nick Toren
Length: 1 hr and 58 mins
Release date: 11-22-11
Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

Once again I become cultured for a couple of hours and attend a live play production.  Okay, this one is in the mind thanks to the audio productions of L.A. Theatre Works.  LATW’s releases of theatrical performances in audiobook format are pure genius and a delight to hear.  The performances are always great and the production put in to each one places the listener smack-dab in the middle of the audience.

This time around I was enlightened with the story of Rosalind Franklin whose x-ray photographs proved the helix shape of DNA, unfortunately for Rosalind, Watson and Krick got all the credit.  But after listening to this Ms. Franklin didn’t seem to concerned with who got the credit, just so science advanced with research to help humanity.

The real eye-opener of this production was the ill-treatment of female scientists back in the day. It was as though women didn’t have the brains to be scientists.  Yet women such as Rosalind Franklin have/had just as much to contribute (if not more) than any man.  I love how this play does not sledge hammer that point but only subtly points it out.

This is a must hear for any one that knows of or is a woman seeking a career in the scientific field.  (I’d also venture to say that this is a must hear for anyone.)

Publisher’s Summary
Rosalind Franklin was a gifted research scientist who was part of the race to uncover the secrets of DNA in the 1950’s. Her more famous contemporaries Watson and Krick took all the kudos for the discovery of the molecule’s double helix structure – yet it was Franklin’s skill with X-ray diffraction that first uncovered what’s called “the secret of life”.

Includes an interview with Brenda Maddox, the world’s foremost biographer of Rosalind Franklin and author of Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA.

Also includes and interview with Dr Pamela Björkman, the Max Delbruck Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology, and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:

Miriam Margolyes as Rosalind

Matthew Arkin as Caspar

Maxwell Caulfield as Wilkins

Jon Matthews as Watson

Darren Richardson as Gosling

Nick Toren as Crick

Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded at the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

Photograph 51 is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.”

©2011 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works