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Principia Mathematica – THE MUSICAL

Principia Mathematica is Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead’s epic maths text which outlines the foundations of mathematics and logic, famously proves that 1+1=2 in 200 pages, and took so much re-writing it nearly sent them both mad in the process. It was also a hugely significant work, attempting to describe a set of axioms and inference rules in symbolic logic from which all mathematical truths could in principle be proven. While this goal was doomed to failure by the Incompleteness Theoreom of Gödel, the project was of great importance in the history of maths and philosophy.

If you haven’t heard of Principia, I recommend reading the excellent Logicomix, which tells the story of Russell’s life and the creation of the book; I also recommend attempting to read Principia Mathematica, although as far as I know, very few people have succeeded in this.

Anyway, the third and final volume of the book was published 100 years ago this year, and in celebration, as the title of this post has completely given away, theatre company The Conway Collective is putting on a musical written by Tyrone Landau and based on the book.

The world premiere of the musical is taking place on 20th February, at Conway Hall in London, and the event description notes that

The evening is scored for singers, dancers, musicians and philosophers.

It also requests that you “prepare to be astonished”, although frankly I’d be astonished if I weren’t astonished. Oh no, Russell’s paradox!

Further information:

Event information on the Conway Collective website

Eventbrite, for buying tickets

Facebook event

via Haggis the Sheep on Twitter

Game of Life: a play

A new play called Game of Life is to be performed from 5th-22nd September at The Yard in Hackney Wick in London. It will apparently “bring to life a scientific theory: the phenomenon of ‘emergence’, and Conway’s ‘game of life’ — an elegant mathematical model simulating birth, death and survival”.

“Tenet” – Galois on stage

Tony Mann has written a review of the play ‘Tenet: A True Story About the Revolutionary Politics of Telling the Truth about Truth as Edited by Someone Who is Not Julian Assange in Any Literal Sense‘. Without wanting to spoil the review, which you can read as “Tenet” – Galois on stage on Tony’s Maths Blog, Tony concludes “if you can possibly see this play, I strongly recommend you do so”. The play is currently at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London until May 26th.