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A glimpse into the life of Einstein

David Muller's one-man play, Imagining Einstein, is currently on at the Kalk Bay Theatre. Muller's play is a glimpse into the life of Albert Einstein, arguably the most famous scientist of the last century. It touches on his work and his personal life, covering the period from his early working life in a patents office to his last years as a professor at Princeton.
Muller is an accomplished performer and, having written the play, must have been familiar with Einstein as a person. Yet, while the play reveals some interesting aspects of Einstein's personal life, it doesn't quite manage to bring Einstein, the man, to life. The play got some appreciative chuckles from the audience, but Muller's presentation of Einstein as a light-hearted and fun-loving scientist didn't ring true.

When the play delves into Einstein the physicist, one gets a sense of the passion that Einstein brought to his work. Once again, though, I was left with a sense of too much ground being covered in too little time. Muller engages well with his audience, asking questions and getting responses, asking for, and getting, volunteers to help illustrate some of Einstein's theories. Perhaps having more than a passing knowledge of Einstein's work meant that the simple experiments used to illustrate the theories didn't work for me.

Have you ever noticed that movies in which the writer is also a performer and director never quite fulfil their potential? David Muller is both writer and performer for this play, but no directing credit is listed. Perhaps this is why the play seemed to drift and lose focus. Despite these shortcomings, the Kalk Bay Theatre is an intimate and charming venue and I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to it. If all you know about Albert Einstein is that he gave the world E=MC2, then Imagining Einstein will hold more for you than it did for me. And if you have never been to the Kalk Bay Theatre, do yourself a favour and go soon.

The show will be performed from Wednesday to Saturday until 25 September at 8.30pm. Tickets for the show cost R100. Doors open at 6pm and theatre-goers can enjoy a light meal before the show. To book and for further information, contact +27 (0)73 220 5430 or go to www.kbt.co.za.
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