Update: October 2001
Observatory Play We have obtained some images of the Breda production courtesy of Raymon Meur who played Robert Hogg.
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Update: April 2001
The play is to be produced in Breda in the Netherlands in a Dutch translation by Manon Smits as part of the Verse Waar Festival in May 2001.

Two separate film producers have also expressed an interest in making a movie of the play.

In April 1999, Dublin's Peacock Theatre is staging "Observatory" by Armagh playwright, Daragh Carville. The play is set in Armagh Observatory and has a partly science fiction theme, making references to quantum uncertainty and "a crack in time". The audience sees alternative views of a modern, computer-based observatory where relationships are casual, even promiscuous, contrasted with the strict formality of the eighteenth century scientist clerics who founded the observatory. The latter's nocturnal world of tedious, meticulous, unending observations is threatened with lack of funds and the political aftermath of the 1798 rebellion.

The 18th century astronomer's world view is that of Newtonian mechanics where a clockwork universe is timed by the pervasive ticking of the, appropriately named, astronomical regulator. The 20th century astronomer, Nicola, is immersed in the universe of quantum physics but drawn to the past of the observatory, an obsession which she shares with her colleague and sometimes lover, the historian, Jon.

The author draws upon some of the stranger interpretations of quantum physics to speculate that even history may be rewritten by the actions of those in the present and does himself rewrite the characters and lives of J.A. Hamilton the first Astronomer of Armagh Observatory and his assistant Robert Hogg.

See also:
Methuen Press
Review of Observatory in Irish
Short biography of Daragh Carville
Creative Writing at QUB
A Short History of Armagh Observatory

Last Revised: 2001 October 31st
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