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Icarus Theatre Collective

The Trials of Galileo

International Tour
March 2014 - Dec 2020

The Trials of Galileo

By Nic Young
Starring Tim Hardy

The first flowering of scientific truth trampled by the bully church.

For information about our accompanying education programme, click here.

five starsWandsworth Radio
five stars
equivalent: Fringe Review
four starsRemotegoat
four stars FringeReview
four stars Fringe Guru
four stars View from the Gods

four stars Stage Talk Magazine

five stars Edfringe.com
four stars The Public Reviews
four stars British Theatre Guide

four stars Broadway Baby
four stars Fringefan.info
four stars Three Weeks


Sound Bites

"Wonderfully outlined by Tim Hardy".
"A delicious dollop of sarcasm and wit".
"Full of thought‐provoking contradiction, it is as soul‐breakingly bitter as it is heartbreakingly humorous".

Four Stars, Three Weeks


"Icarus Theatre fly into London on waxen wings, which, after this compelling production, show no sign of melting any time soon".
"‘The Trials Of Galileo’ delivers a rich flow of insight and information".
"The feeling of utter ownership and comfort that Hardy brings to the role is refreshing to behold".
"With seemingly minimal effort, he holds us in the palm of his hand for the duration, expertly manoeuvring through the peaks and troughs of hope and despair poor Galileo is subjected to".
"The writing, too, is faultless, and it would be easy to mistake the text for an early forgotten masterpiece by Stoppard or Bennett".
"A fine production, and a fantastic example of a writer and performer at the top of their game".
"The best history lesson ever".

Four Stars, Remotegoat


"Hardy is clearly an old-school classically trained actor and it's lovely to see this kind of quality in a small theatre pub in central London".
"Brilliant energy".
"That's it, you're hooked".
"Beautifully crafted".
"A thought-provoking and captivating piece of theatre".

Four Stars, View From the Gods


"Tim Hardy stars in this one-man tour de force".
"Tim Hardy certainly looks the part".
"Hardy inhabits the stage with assurance, sometimes addressing the audience directly, while at other times lost in his own ruminations".
"He demonstrates a full gamut of emotions".
"His scene 'with' the Pope is so expertly done it is as if there was, indeed, another actor on the stage".
"If you know nothing at all about Galileo before seeing this play you will come away enlightened".

Four Stars, The Public Reviews


"An excellent piece of theatre".
"Hardy keeps a thinly veiled intelligence ever brooding beneath the surface of the man".
"His descriptions of the trial itself create a palpable feeling of being in the presence of the era".
"Iimpossible to remember that the audience is watching an actor and not the real man".
"Great levels of detail, it's a joy".

Four Stars, British Theatre Guide, Graeme Strachen

"The powerful performance, along with the pacey script, make for a great evening's entertainment".
"Engaging drama".
"A tour‐de‐force from this fine actor!"
"A fantastic show".

Four Stars, Fringe Review

"Tim Hardy plays Galileo, capturing the intellectual rigour and deep faith of the man, along with an attractive sense of irony, an admittedly dangerous degree of unworldliness, and a haunting sense of guilt that pure fear of torture led him to recant. Script and performer carry us clearly and gracefully through a lot of history and science, so that we always understand both the issues and the politics, while painting a multifaceted and always sympathetic portrait of a complex man in an even more complicated situation.

The Stage, Gerald Berkowitz


The Scotsman, Susan Mansfield

Galileo's conflict with the Catholic Church is often seen as a clash between religion and science, entrenched belief getting in the way of scientific progress. This one‐man play, written by Nic Young for the 400th anniversary of Galileo's discoveries, reveals the situation to be more complex.

Exploring in detail Galileo's trial for heresy, at which he was required to renounce his belief that the Earth moves around the Sun, Young suggests that Galileo's real weakness was his failure to understand the politics unfolding around him.

A genius at astronomy, he was less adept at discerning the machinations of his fellow men; when Pope Urban VIII seemed to give support to his book, Galileo made the mistake of believing him.

Actor Tim Hardy creates a suitably complex portrait of the scientist, now in advancing years: naive, impulsive, excitable, yet feisty, occasionally sardonic. He is angry at being held under house arrest even though he has recanted, but at the same time wonders if he should have stood by his beliefs and been martyred. One can't leave this play and not be wiser about the man, his predicament and its lasting implications.

One man, one play, one amazing experience.

The Javea Players policy of offering a wide range of theatre experiences surpassed all previous highs when they booked guest actor Tim Hardy to present his one man show, The Trials of Galileo, at their Javea Studio Theatre on Monday March 24. RADA trained Tim held the audience spellbound from beginning to end with his passionate, funny and thought provoking highlights outlining the dramatic events surrounding Galileo's heresy trial in 1633.

Through the invention of his new telescope, he declared that he had indubitable scientific proof that the sun is the central point of our universe. Catholic dogma, on the other hand, stated the Earth is the centre of God's creation and in 1616 the Inquisition basically issued a gagging orderrefraining him from holding, teaching or defending his theory any further.

The astronomer was dumbfounded, he knew his findings were correct and failed to reason why the church would not open its mind on discussion. Unfortunately he didn't understand until it was too late that church rules were not about reason, logic, and scientific fact, they were about religious politics.

He was eventually tried for heresy, forced to admit his 'sins' to avoid the death penalty, found guilty and sentenced to house arrest for life.

It was from this prison Hardy portrays Galileo's inner conflict, displaying a bewildering range of emotions that had everyone sitting on the edge of their seats, totally mesmerised by the light and shade talents of delivery of this superb charismatic actor, that at times reflected the rapid and urgent exciting rhythm of the rap genre.

To quote a line from the story, during the thought provoking silent moments, "You could have heard a mouse fart".

Tim works with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has directed and performed in many productions across the UK, Europe, and the United States.

As well as numerous musicals, operas and films, he has also performed in television programmes for the BBC and ITV including Casualy, The Bill, Eastenders and The Sweeny.

"They've done it now".
“One Amazing experience".
"A marvelous experience".

-Costa Blanca News


"Galileo is simply 'magnifico'"
"An audience spellbound with this hit".
And so for around 75 minutes Mr. Hardy stood centre stage and performed theatrical magic".
"The success of the show is its language".
"The script wonderfully and faultlessly brought alive by the actor".
"Hardy brings out all the emotions of the piece".
"We are treated to plenty of humour".


IBJ.com (Indianapolis Business Journal)

A full house greeted Butler University visiting artist Tim Hardy for the first of a two‐show‐only stint in Nick Young’s one‐man play “Galileo” (Sept. 9‐10)… The quality of the performance I found inspiring.  Seeing this level of excellent work can be intimidating, but I hope that it also proves inspiring.

Hardy – a faculty member of the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art who appeared in such landmark productions as Peter Brook’s “Marat/Sade” and Peter Hall’s “Henry V” – created a weary, funny, sad Galileo angry at himself for misjudging the forces against him. His explanation of the power of the rack as a torture device effectively painted a flesh‐and‐blood picture of the consequences of his alleged heresy. It brought humanity to his brilliance, taking this from history lesson to an evening of theatre.






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