The Necessity of Atheism


The Space @ Surgeon’s Hall.

August 5th to 20th Not 7,14th



This show is a very entertaining account of the events leading to the poet Shelley being expelled from Oxford University. He wrote a pamphlet entitled The Necessity of Atheism which scandalised the authorities – tolerance even of religious difference let alone irreligion was hardly great at the time.

This is a sparkling script by Sean Lang, and it is well acted by the young cast of Anglia Ruskin Creative. Shelley is seen as a spirited youngster who even sees hurling apples down at authority as a useful protest. He is well portrayed by Alexander Banks, along with Victoria Penn as his friend Douglas Hogg. We have an entertaining nightmare scene, and then Shelley’s amazement at his fate. Laura Williamson is firmly effective as Lord Eldon.

This is a short but very enjoyable show that brings to light attitudes and experiences of a past time.


Tony Challis