The Trials of Galileo

Venue Information, Marketing, and Reviews

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Three Weeks

"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".



"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".


 British Theatre Guide, Graeme Strachen

"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".


The Public Reviews

"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".



Fringe Review

"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".


 View From the Gods

"That's it, you're hooked".
"Beautifully crafted".
"A thought-provoking and captivating piece of theatre".

Professor Gary Taylor, Senior Editor New Oxford Shakespeare

"It is excellent. it's fantastic to see a one man show , and feel in such safe hands as Tim. he is brilliant. and he played the audience like a violin…”

Brian Kirk, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

The Stage, Gerald Berkowitz

"Passionate, intelligent, hilarious, chilling - in Tim Hardy's phenomenal performance, the knifefight between science and religion does not take place between men, but INSIDE one."

"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 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.

Peter Holland, McMeel Family Chair, Shakespeare Studies, Notre Dame

"This is a thrilling show about one of the crucial moments in the history of the Western civilization: the confrontation between science and religion in the work - no, in the mind and body - of Galileo. This is drama that makes you think but also laugh and cry. Anyone who loves theatre should see this performance."

Nigel and Bernie Foster

I just wanted to let you know what a magical experience we had on Friday evening watching Tim Hardy’s remarkable one man show in the courtyard of the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta. We have recently moved from UK to Malta and one of our concerns was the possible lack of access to the arts, especially as our UK home is in London. We have no need to fear as long as we are visited by such quality touring productions as yours.

My father was visiting us from UK and we were keen to make for Malta to make a favourable impression as we’d love him to join us over here, at the very least during the UK winter. Again, mission accomplished. In the last year or so we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth, the Lears of Frank Langella and Simon Russell-Beale and Jude Law’s Henry V but my father said that Saturday night was his best theatre experience for many years.

Just as important as Tim Hardy’s incredible display was the wonderful writing of Nic Young. He managed to keep the piece rooted firmly in its period whilst raising important and fundamental questions that are relevant today. And, of course, the setting was spectacular.

We’d like to thank everyone involved for such a wonderful evening.

Thanks you

Nigel and Bernie Foster

From the Oxford Playhouse comments book

A tour de force.
Excellently performed story!
Anything following that would be an anti-climax!
Absolutely 'top note.'
Very enjoyable and very relevant!
Excellent! A most enjoyable hour!
Exellent evening!
Absolutely brilliant, thank you.
Super evening, we were sent back to the 1600s!!
Excellent performance. Best Q&A ever. It adds so much info.
Very enjoyable indeed!

Luke Robson

An exceptional solo performance and incredibly engagement. I was surprised how the themes of thought control, belief, faith and enlightenment really came out of it.

Brian Kirk, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

A wonderful acting performance and the 70 minutes flew by . It was a truly interesting evening and all in my party - twelve U3A Philosophy students - most certainly agreed.

Geoffrey Taylor, Chairman of South Hill Park Arts Centre


"It is excellent. it's fantastic to see a one man show , and feel in such safe hands as Tim. he is brilliant. and he played the audience like a violin..."

Professor Gary Taylor, Senior Editor New Oxford Shakespeare

Passionate, intelligent, hilarious, chilling - in Tim Hardy's phenomenal performance, the knifefight between science and religion does not take place between men, but INSIDE one."

Drew Young

As good as Wolf Hall!

Amazing. Very inspiring. Thank you.

Brilliant – thank you – ideas that were revolutionary so well explained.

Excellent and great post-theatre discussion 

Excellent performance! Do see the contemporary portrait in the Weston library – anyway you impressed this astronomer!

A splendid performance and a great experience: Good luck for the future

Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford Playhouse, Comments Book, 23 March 2015


My wife and I greatly enjoyed 'Galileo' in Aberdeen last night. Superb performance of strength and subtlety.

Dr Alistair Niven, Principal, Cumberland Lodge, The Great Park, Windsor

"At a gathering of postgraduate students from universities all round the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Tim Hardy gave his one-man performance as Galileo, the father of research. it is Hardy's performance, through a spectrum of mood changes, that makes the evening so special. It is an entrancing and moving character study, showing that great acting can as easily happen in small spaces as in the grandest theatres."

John D. Barlow, Dean Emeritus IUPUI

"For me it was the memorable of all the (Barlow) lectures. Not only the lecture, but the performance and the discussions at dinner were outstanding."

Jennifer Nelson, Sherborne School

"Galileo was fantastic! As a thrilling account of Galileo's battle with the church, it was dramatic story telling at its best. With minimal props and set, Tim Hardy told a rich and thought provoking story which held the audience throughout. It was a well-structured, compelling, virtuosic solo performance and gave rise to thought provoking and intelligent post-show questions. Our students and staff much appreciated the question and answer session at the end. I would be delighted to recommend any production from Icarus Theatre Collective."

Nigel Johnson

"A brilliant and polished performance showing the human frailty, ego and genius of Galileo. It is not enough to be right but one must sympathetically bring your patron on the journey."

John Rodie

"Tim Hardy manages to bring Galileo the man rather than the legend to life, showings all his failings so painfully and his inabilities to understand the human condition and Machiavellian machinations as easily as he understood the orbits of the Jovian system. His voice has a mellifluous quality that he uses to show the frailty of the old scientist and the power of the Pope and his accusers. all in all a wonderful production and a great counterpoint to the Brecht play with its all too confident Galileo." (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.

kate cook @katecookcook 19 Aug

@icarustheatre The Trials of Galileo at New Town Theatre is a great show! Brilliant performance by Tim Hardy! #edfringe

Jeanette Young @young_jeanette Aug 19

The Trials of Galileo | Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Great performance. Plenty of laughs in script too @icarustheatre

Helen Wilde @helenmwilde Aug 19

@icarustheatre #galileo The Trials of Galileo. Tim Hardy one hander. Absolutely Brilliant! @NewtownTheatre #edfringe

Maia @_MaiaJ Aug 14

The Trials of Galileo: Wonderfully performed one man show (which had me wikipediaing Galileo after to find out more!) #edfringe

Gerard Logan @gerardlogan Aug 17 Please you must go & see @icarustheatre's "The Trials of Galileo". Tim Hardy - good God that man is BRILLIANT. #god …

Lesley Strachan @LaStrachan Aug @icarustheatre play The Trials of Galileo. You won't see finer drama at #edfringe2015. 5***** Tim Hardy performance

Katie Lee @jesuiskatielee Aug

Playing the system with hypotheticals... We can all learn from #Galileo! Splendid show from Tim Hardy @icarustheatre

Bob Hammersley @BobHammersley1 Mar 23

@icarustheatre The Trials of Galileo - brilliant & never more relevant