Peter Greenaway: The Children of Uranium
A Project by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway. Music by Andrea Liberovici.
The hundredth anniversary of Einstein's discovery of the theory of relativity, the fiftieth anniversary of Einstein's death and the sixtieth anniversary of the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb inspired filmmaker Peter Greenaway and theater director Saskia Boddeke to create a multimedia spectacle that deals with the discovery, development, fears and tyranny of nuclear power. For The Children of Uranium, Greenaway has created an installation based on the 92 elements of the periodic table, a scenography with original music by Andrea Liberovici, for a series of performances dedicated to Isaac Newton, founder of modern science; Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion, who was looking for gold and instead found uranium; Madame Curie, victim of the powers of radiation; Einstein, who discovered relativity; Oppenheimer, who developed the atomic bomb; Khrushchev, corroder of Stalin's myth and enemy of Kennedy; Gorbachev, the Communist leader who defused the bomb; and George W. Bush. The book is more than a simple collection of texts and photos. Based on the imagery and the structure of the performance, it is another component of the project as a whole. Designed and conceptualized by Greenaway, it includes biographies of the major characters, the complete libretto and photographs and drawings associated with the performance.