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Acclaimed production inspired by female scientist’s true story

Kate, the main character from Flux with other members of the cast ©The Other Richard

Award-winning puppetry company Smoking Apples head to Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven, with a new, acclaimed production inspired by the true story of female scientist Lise Meitner.

Kate is a physicist in the 1980s. In a male-dominated world, she is determined to make her voice heard. But in the wake of an unexpected discovery, can she balance the personal and professional?

Inspired by interviews with female scientists, Flux charts the story of a young physicist burning with potential. Kate struggles to be noticed until a male colleague uncovers her brilliance and pushes her forward. But, just as she begins to excel professionally, the balance between life and work suddenly flips.

Smoking Apples use extraordinary life-size puppetry, an electrifying set of shadow and light, and a filmic score to tell Kate’s story as she navigates what it means to be a woman in a male-dominated environment.

The year 2018 marked the centenary of Women’s Suffrage. Having previously focused on predominantly male stories, Smoking Apples challenged themselves to create a piece about a woman, exploring how puppetry can express the objectification of the female form.

Flux has been developed in London and Oxford and heavily influenced by female figures from the world of science – most notably Lise Meitner, a physicist who discovered nuclear fission in the late 1930s but whose work was undermined by colleague Otto Hahn, who was later awarded a Nobel Prize for the discovery.

The production boasts a dynamic, tetris-like set evoking Kate’s world, a blend of live action and shadow puppetry, and a thumping 1980s soundtrack by award-winning composer Jon Ouin, from the band Stornoway, who has written for both the BBC and Sky.

This ever-resonant story of a woman fighting to be heard has been supported by Arts Council England, the Institute of Physics, Shoreditch Town Hall, Oxford Playhouse, Old Fire Station Oxford and Cornerstone Arts Centre.

Smoking Apples bring Flux to Rosehill on Saturday 11 May at 8pm. Tickets are available at or 01946 692422.

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