Top-Class Theatre: David Baddiel Tackles Hope And Power In God's Dice

God’s Dice, Soho Theatre ★★★★★

By Hannah Foulds Last edited 56 months ago

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Last Updated 01 November 2019

Top-Class Theatre: David Baddiel Tackles Hope And Power In God's Dice God’s Dice, Soho Theatre 5
Photo: Helen Maybanks

David Baddiel’s debut play God’s Dice is a funny, captivating exploration of people's desire for hope, power, legacy and answers.

Henry (Alan Davies) is an unassuming, pragmatic, understimulated physics lecturer living in the shadow of his wife, Virginia, an atheist star author. But Henry’s life takes a sudden turn when he’s approached by charismatic devout Christian student Edie.

Photo: Helen Maybanks

'I’ve heard all about you Christian scientists’ says Henry. But Edie piques Henry’s curiosity, and so begins a joint project to unearth the truth through scientific formula.

Don’t worry if science isn’t your strong point, as this play is more about human desire than physics — but it turns out that physics is a wonderful lens to explore it through. Henry’s longing for answers and a legacy is as compelling as Edie’s search for God. It’s really well-paced, and gradually increases tension, building up to a shocking crescendo.

Photo: Helen Maybanks

A combination of an artfully written script, brilliantly believable characters and a wonderful cast make it  difficult not get too drawn into this performance. Alan Davies’ lead performance is subtle and heart-felt, Leila Mimmack as Edie brilliantly balances charm with a hint of psychosis, and Virginia — played by Alexandra Gilbreath — delivers some incredibly bold and funny lines with a great sense of timing.

Henry’s sleazy colleague Tim — Eastenders star Nitin Ganatra — could have easily tipped the play into the realm of silliness, but Ganatra manages to keep the realism alive with his understated performance.

Photo: Helen Maybanks

Baddiel has a great way of making tricky subjects more accessible and turning lofty ideas into relevant ones, but now — and even better — he’s doing it through the medium of top-class theatre.

God’s Dice, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 3NE. Tickets from £22, until 30 November 2019.