The Strange History of Black Holes

PLAYWRIGHT: Nilanjan P. Choudhury

DIRECTION: Prakash Belawadi

VENUE : The Royal Institution Theatre, Mayfair, London ( Map )


19 July (Fri), 2024 at 6:00 PM,

20 July (Sat), 2024 at 7:30 PM




Cast: Nilanjan P. Choudhury, Swati De, Selim Yusuf, Shonali Chandy Chinniah

Crew: Arun Murthy, Nikhil N Bhardwaj, Sumedha Choudhury

(L to R) Shonali Chandy Chinniah ,Swati De ,Prakash Belawadi  Mr NR Narayan Murthy , Founder Infosys ,

Nilanjan Paul Choudhury ,Selim Yusuf , Nikhil N Bharadwaj , Arun Murthy

ABout the play

n the summer of 1930, a nineteen-year-old Indian boy formulated the fundamental equations that govern the ultimate fate of the stars in our Universe. To his surprise, they indicated that certain stars were destined to collapse into nothingness and become those mysterious objects that we now call black holes.

The boy’s name was Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, the brilliant Indian-American astrophysicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1983. But Chandra’s extraordinary discovery of collapsing stars was suppressed as soon as it was made. And the person responsible for this was Chandra’s own mentor and guru – Sir Arthur Eddington, Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University and the foremost astrophysicist of the age.

Why did Eddington try to destroy Chandra? For a man renowned for his dispassionate commitment to science, Eddington’s actions have been a long-standing mystery in the annals of science. The play attempts to answer this question through an exploration of the intriguing and complex relationship between two giants of modern astrophysics – Chandra and Eddington.

Based on true incidents, this is a story of ambition, friendship and betrayal set against the backdrop of the epoch-making events of the twentieth century – the two world wars, the Indian freedom struggle and above all, the birth of the strange new sciences of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Praise f0r the play

"A refreshing celebration of the actual achievements of an Indian scientist." - Naseeruddin Shah

Top marks for portraying such nuanced characters on stage along with distilling their complex scientific work.” – The Week

An excellent exemplar...presented lucidly..” – The Telegraph

A winner ... peppered with insightful humour...” – The Hindu

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The author wishes to acknowledge three works, which have been important sources of information and inspiration for this play. These are "Empire of the Stars" by Arthur I Miller, "Chandra: The Biography of S. Chandrasekhar" by Kameshwar Wali and "Copenhagen", the play by Michael Frayn.

Still from the play

(L-R) Nilanjan Paul Choudhury , Swati De , Shonali Chandy Chinniah , Selim Yusuf & Prakash Belawadi

Standing - Swati De & Nilanjan Paul Choudhury

Sitting - Shonali Chandy Chinniah & Selim Yusuf

  L to R Shonali Chandy Chinniah ,Swati De ,Prakash Belawadi  Mr NR Narayan Murthy , Founder Infosys , Nilanjan Paul Choudhury ,Selim Yusuf , Nikhil N Bharadwaj , Arun Murthy