FIRST BLAST: Proliferation (5 Short Plays)

Part of The Bomb – a partial history

With plays by Lee Blessing, John Donnelly, Elena Gremina, Amit Gupta, Zinnie Harris, Ron Hutchinson

Photo credit: Bernard Hoffman / Getty Images

by Zinnie Harris

‘Harris brings a droll humour to the situation and neatly interweaves the personal and the political’  Financial Times

In a lab in Birmingham two physicists uncover something. If their calculation is right, it will change the course of the war, if anyone will listen.

by Ron Hutchinson

‘Riveting’  The Times

This is the world that was made by the bomb that was dropped by the plane that we built on one day in August in 1945. After a landslide victory in the General Election of 1945, Clement Attlee finds himself in power, and within days the A-Bomb has been dropped on Japan. The war is over, but the Iron Curtain has descended from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic. The victorious powers have to decide how to handle a nuclear world – should Britain go it alone or shelter behind America’s skirts?

by Lee Blessing

‘A bitterly funny fable’  The Times

A gentleman’s club opens in 40s Washington with only one member, but as the years roll by membership suddenly doubles,then 2 becomes 4 and 4 becomes 8, and so on. What are the rules? And how on earth can they stop the membership proliferating? These are the worrying questions facing the founder members.

by Amit Gupta

‘Thoughtful, intimately focused work’  Financial Times

In 1964 the People’s Republic of China carried out its first nuclear weapons-test. What followed in India was an intense period of soul searching. How should a nation founded on Gandhi’s principles of non-violence react? In 1968 under increasingly intense pressure from the US and the Soviet Union to sign their jointly initiated Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, India finds herself at a crossroads. For three leading civil nuclear scientists the politicians’ decision of which path to pursue will mark a turning point in all of their lives.

by John Donnelly

A ‘broad and very funny vision of the chaos that followed the Soviet Union’s collapse’  Evening Standard

The Soviet Union’s sudden collapse into chaos leaves the Ukraine and Kazakhstan with their fingers still on the nuclear button. The Russians and the Americans form an uneasy alliance to try to locate the missing missiles. However, deep in the countryside, a Ukrainian family have other ideas, and seize their chance of making quick money on the black market. In an anarchic look at power and politics, the ambitions of two super-powers are tested by a wheeler-dealing pair of scrap metal merchants.

 The FIRST BLAST is part of THE BOMB – a partial history which is a season of plays in two parts and can be seen on consecutive nights or on an afternoon and evening over the weekend. Click here to visit the SECOND BLAST.

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Thu 9 Feb 2012 - Sun 1 Apr 2012

£9 - Available 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 Feb
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One part £14
Both parts £25

One part £16
Both parts £29

Allocated Seating: The theatre auditorium is unreserved seating. For a small additional charge you can reserve one of the 40 allocated seats.

Press Day: Monday 20 Feb at 2.30pm & 7pm

RUNNING TIME: 2hrs 30 mins (including 15 min interval)


Director: Nicolas Kent
Designer: Polly Sullivan
Lighting Designer: Howard Harrison
Sound Designer: Tom Lishman
Video Designer: Douglas O'Connell
Jack Bradley
Associate Producer: Zoe Ingenhaag
Assisted by
Hal Scardino
Assistant Director: Tara Robinson

Nathalie Armin
Paul Bhattacharjee
Simon Chandler
Michael Cochrane
Tariq Jordan
Shereen Martin
Daniel Rabin
Simon Rouse
Rick Warden
David Yip