In a nutshell, the story is about how Robert Hooke, a contemporary of Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren, was cheated out of his rightful place in the history books. It was Hooke, not Newton, who first described the laws of gravity, and it was only with the assistance of Hooke that Wren designed the dome at St. Paul's dome and other London landmarks. But Hooke’s eminent and respected contemporaries stole his ideas and, with conspiracy and betrayal, have kept him from being acknowledged. The story explains why, to this day, the theory of universal gravity conjures up a picture an apple falling on Newton's head.
Robert's Hooke absence from the history books teaches us a vital lesson about the world of science and human endeavour as a whole. We learn that, no matter how lofty and pure a subject may be, it must always be carried out by humans, who are always human after all. Hanging Hooke, told from the lips of Hooke and one of the men who betrayed him, reveals this truth with the sharp and poignant clarity of the first-person perspective.
Chris Barnes, playing Hooke, was simply fantastic. From the moment the lights went up to the final curtain you knew you were in capable hands. He told the story with energy and sincerity, delivering his lines with perfect timing and not a word out of place. His presence filled the theatre so well that it was only while applauding did I realise that I had been fully captivated for an hour and a half by just one man.
Hanging Hooke is a play of high quality. This is not some cheap and cheerful show that you might pop out for with the lads, and anyone looking for cheap thrills will be disappointed. Rather, this play is a worthy and respectable piece of theatre to nourish you intellectually and culturally. Basically, I guess what I'm trying to say is: go see it.