No Horizon is a new musical by Andy Platt about Nicholas Saunderson. Who? I hear you ask. Well he was a scientist and mathematician born in 1682 in Thurlestone, Yorkshire, who worked as Lucasian Professor at the University of Cambridge, a post also held by Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage and Stephen Hawking. Not at the same time, obviously, although if it had, the apple which landed on Isaac Newton’s head could have earned Charles Babbage a lot of money as a company logo for his computers.
Not the most obvious candidate then to be the subject of a musical, especially when you learn that he lectured on mathematics, astronomy and optics. To whet your appetite even further I will throw in the titbit that he may have discovered Bayes Theorem and provided the first systematic introduction to Differential calculus. Still not hooked, fair enough, but you might be when I tell you that this man who specialised in mathematics, astronomy and optics had been blind since he was one year old as a result of smallpox!
Bear in mind that this is a time long before Braille and rumour has it that he taught himself to read by feeling the inscriptions on the gravestones in his local cemetery. He then learned to write. He ended up in his senior university posts despite not having a single formal qualification. He was awarded a Master of Arts degree by Queen Anne so that he would be eligible for the Lucasian professorship when the post became vacant. Where was Queen Anne when I needed her for a leg-up?
The lead role is played by Adam Martyn who himself is visually impaired.
No Horizon has been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe with great success and as a result secured funding from Arts Council and Foyle Foundation enabling the show to embark on a national tour. It is a Right Hand Theatre production, a company set up by Andy Platt and his business partner Max Reid.
Tour dates are:
March 19th-21st The Civic, Barnsley https://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/
March 26th-28th The Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax. https://www.yorkshire.com/view/culture/halifax/the-dean-clough-mills-125291
March 31st-April 1st. City Varieties, Leeds https://www.cityvarieties.co.uk/Online/default.asp
April 2nd-4th CAST, Doncaster https://castindoncaster.com/
April 7th-8th Harrogate Theatre https://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/
April 9th and 11th York Theatre Royal https://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/
April 15th Millgate Arts Centre, Saddleworth. https://millgateartscentre.co.uk/
Please contact venues direct for more information and tickets
All photographs provided by Andy Platt