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Nicole Kidman's return to West End is tribute to late father

The Hollywood star plays pioneering British scientist Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51


Moulin Rouge actress Nicole Kidman has described her return to the West End - after a 17 year hiatus - as a tribute to women and scientists whose efforts and achievements go unnoticed.

The UK premiere of Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51 is directed by Michael Grandage at the Noel Coward Theatre and features Kidman as Rosalind Franklin, a British scientist who helped to discover the structure of DNA but whose role was overlooked.

This Saturday's performance will carry added poignancy as it marks a year since the passing of her father, Dr Antony Kidman, a respected clinical psychologist. Talking about his passing, Kidman said:

"My father passed away last year, September 12. Doing this play is my way of acknowledging him but also acknowledging people in science who quietly go about their work and go unacknowledged a lot of the time... He knew I was going to be doing the play, I like to think he is somewhere offering support."

The actress also joined the ongoing conversation on the use of mobile phones and cameras by theatregoers, saying she "hasn't noticed anything" since starting previews last week.

Instead of joining Benedict Cumberbatch - who recently had stern words with fans at stage door following a performance of Hamlet - in castigating theatregoers, instead she heaped praise on people who part with their money to visit the theatre:

"[I'm] just incredibly grateful that people come... They're all here because they want to be here and want to see a play, and that's really beautiful. If you stay in that place, knowing that everyone's parked their car, caught the tube, whatever it is to get here, paid their money - and it's a lot of money to come and see a play - so we just want to be able to give a good show. It's simple."

Photograph 51 runs at the Noel Coward Theatre until 21 November.