exeter literary festival title image

Hanging Hooke

Thursday 7th November


Christopher Wren loved him. Isaac Newton loathed him. Robert Hooke(1635 - 1703) was an ingenious artist, engineer, architect and scientist. As Curator of Experiment for The Royal Society, he poured out a stream of brilliant concepts: universal gravity, evolution of the species and atomic theory - even anticipating the modern wave theory. As an architect, he played a prominent role in the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire, including the construction of the Dome of St Paul's, various City churches and the Monument.

Yet after his death, England’s Leonardo was written out of History; even his portrait mysteriously disappeared.
Then in 2006, a three hundred year old manuscript was accidentally discovered in a cupboard in a country house in Hampshire!

This tale of intrigue and betrayal explores the captivating 17th century world of new science and discovery.

Originally with research support from the Royal Society, Hanging Hooke was a co production with Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Previous tours have included performances at Chichester Festival Theatre, The Rose in Kingston, Ustinov @ Bath Theatre Royal, BT @ Oxford Playhouse and The Royal Society itself.

This performance will also include a post show discussion with Chris Barnes (Performer and Co-Director), Siobhan Nicholas (Writer and Co-Director) and Dr Felicity Henderson (Senior Lecturer in Archives and Material Culture at The University of Exeter).

Kindly sponsored by



Chapter House Exeter Cathedral

Chris Barnes
Siobhán Nicholas