A 'powerful' new play telling the other side of the Oppenheimer story is coming to Cambridge Arts Theatre.

Farm Hall, written by Katherine Moar, is inspired by true events that took place at Farm Hall in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, between July 1945 and January 1946.

While Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer depicts the American quest to build an atomic bomb during the Second World War, Farm Hall addresses his overriding fear - that the Germans would get there first.

In July 1945, while Oppenheimer was preparing to test an atomic bomb in the New Mexican desert, six of Germany's top nuclear scientists - including three Nobel Prize winners - were detained by the British Secret Service and stowed at Farm Hall in the Cambridgeshire countryside.

Unbeknownst to the scientists, every inch of Farm Hall was bugged and their actions were recorded.

Shut off from the outside world, they entertained themselves with some redacted newspaper, a broken piano and a copy of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.

As the months go by, their attention turns to the ongoing war and thoughts of their broken homeland.

The scientists' tranquil summer is then shattered by the news that the Americans have built an atomic bomb and used it against Japan.

Farm Hall's cast includes Julius D'Silva as Kurt Diebner, Forbes Mason as Otto Hahn, Alan Cox as Werner Heisenberg and Daniel Boyd as Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcke.


Playwright Katherine Moar studied history at the University of Edinburgh and Darwin College, Cambridge, before studying for a PhD at King's College, London. Farm Hall is her first play.

The play received its first rehearsed reading at the Ustinov Studio in Bath in September 2019, and the premiere production took place at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in March and April 2023.

The production is directed by Stephen Unwin, who was previously artistic director of the English Touring Theatre and the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

Performances take place from Tuesday, September 12 to Saturday, September 23 - excuding Sunday 17, with 2.30pm matinée performances on Thursdays and Saturdays.

To book call 01223 503333 or visit www.cambridgeartstheatre.com.