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A play about numbers

Complicated mathematical formulae are usually the stuff of nightmares. But for two prolific mathematicians in the early 20th Century, numbers were the basis of a synergy spanning continents.

art and culture Updated: Aug 06, 2010 14:00 IST

Complicated mathematical formulae are usually the stuff of nightmares. But for two prolific mathematicians in the early 20th Century, numbers were the basis of a synergy spanning continents.

British company complicite explores the connection between Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan and Cambridge University professor GH Hardy, in its award-winning play, A Disappearing Number, which will make its Indian debut next week.

A Disappearing Number was conceptualised and written by British playwright Simon McBurney in 2007. At its heart is the story of Ramanujan’s relationship with Hardy. This is interspersed with the present-day story of an Indian-American businessman and his partner, a maths professor, who travels to India to follow in Ramanujan’s footsteps.

The lead characters aren’t the play’s only connection to India. Composer Nitin Sawhney has scored the soundtrack. Since the play made its debut, it has won several awards including the Laurence Olivier award, Britain’s highest recognition for theatre.

A Disappearing Number will be staged at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre on August 9, 10 and 11 at 8 pm. Call 22824567 or 66223724 for details.