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Hidden Glory (Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Dorothy Hodgkin is the only British woman to have won the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Her biographer, Georgina Ferry, wrote Hidden Glory based upon Hodgkin’s writings to raise awareness of her achievements. Ferry does not make things easy for herself or the audience. The absence of a narrative leaves us to make sense of the time-line whilst struggling with scientific jargon and trying to determine the roles of the people whose names are dropped.

Ferry creates the atmosphere of a time when scientific discovery was untainted by politics and financial considerations. The excitement of new discoveries and of miracle cures like penicillin is vividly drawn.

Abbey Wright directs with style and imagination. She conveys the strangely British eccentricity of discoveries made in a cellar where Hodgkin has to climb a stepladder for enough light to use her microscope.

Miranda Cook does not restrict herself to creating a clichéd distracted scientist but shows Hodgkin as one of those rare warm individuals whose passion and commitment to her work do not prevent her from raising a family.

Only the brevity of the play shows its origins as part of a museum event. An expansion would allow critical as well as appreciative elements

- Dave Cunningham


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