The Life of Galileo

by Bertolt Brecht, translated by David Hare

— Theatre



Auckland Theatre Company


ASB Waterfront Theatre


2 hours and 30 minutes, including interval




Meet the man who rocked the world.

It may have been more than 400 years since the Roman Inquisition challenged Galileo Galilei’s proof that the Earth rotated around the sun but, sadly, the story of arrogant leaders refusing to accept the findings of science is all too timely.

Bertolt Brecht’s masterly portrait of genius under fire positively bristles with thought-provoking contemporary resonances.

Leading the large ensemble, Kiwi acting legend Michael Hurst is well equipped to embody the contradictions, flaws and genius of Galileo: a man who looked to the stars, risked heresy and changed how we see the heavens but, also, a man who was naive, ambitious, idealistic and capable of petty cruelty.

The Life of Galileo promises a night of bold ideas, brilliant theatricality, and a full-throated defence of speaking truth to power.


Special Events

Backstage Story

Tuesday, 8 June, 6:30pm. FREE EVENT. Auckland Theatre Company Studios, 487 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden, Carpark & entry off Brixton Road. Discover the world behind the curtain, find out what takes place in the rehearsal room at these behind-the-scenes talks with the director, designers, and cast of each show.


Sunday, 27 June, 2:45pm. SOLD OUT. Raise your theatre experience to the next level by attending this informative pre-show event. Listen to a special guest speaker discuss a deeper aspect of the play while enjoying a glass of wine and afternoon tea in the picturesque Villa Maria Gallery at ASB Waterfront Theatre. You'll also need to purchase a ticket to the show if you wish to attend the performance after the event. These events sell out quickly so booking is essential.

Accessible Performances

All mainstage shows in the Auckland Theatre Company 2021 season have an NZSL Interpreted and an Audio Described performance, which give Deaf and hard-of-hearing, and blind and low-vision patrons the opportunity to enjoy the shows. Audio Described and NZSL Interpreted performances are open to all as they do not change how shows are presented. 

How to Book

All tickets to accessible performances are $20 each for Deaf, hard-of-hearing and blind/low-vison customers. One companion ticket per Deaf, hard-of-hearing and blind/low-vison theatregoer is also available for $20. 
Please contact the box office on (09) 309 3395 or email [email protected] to book Audio-Described or NZSL-Interpreted performances, touch tours, wheelchair-accessible seats, or if you have any special requirements.

Audio Described & Touch Tour

Sunday 4 July. Touch Tour 2.30pm. Audio Described performance 4.00pm. Audio Described performances provide a live audio commentary by passionate professionals from Audio Described Aotearoa Ltd as they describe the actions onstage. This commentary is relayed to blind and low-vision patrons via an earpiece which can be booked in advanced and picked up from the theatre box office. Touch Tours are held one and a half hours before the show. Patrons can walk through the set, touch props, feel costumes and familiarise themselves with visual and sensory materials in the performance.

NZSL Interpreted

Sat 10 July 2.00pm. As part of NZSL Interpreted performances, a trained interpreter from Platform Interpreting signs dialogue from the actors on stage to Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons in the audience. The interpreter works closely with the show’s script, cast and director to match the lines and action onstage as well as the tone, attitude and body language of the actors. Special seats are reserved for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons, so they have a clear view of the interpreter signing towards them.

Show Programme


Michael Hurst shines like a supernova
John Daly-Peoples, New Zealand Arts Review
Enthralling and relevant
Ingrid Grenar, Keeping up with NZ
The life and beliefs of a 17th Century scientist are as relevant today as they were then, and The Life of Galileo is a pertinent reminder.
Andrew Whiteside
David Hare’s translation of Brecht’s classic text is brought skillfully to life in ATC’s production, with its themes of fighting to defend the truth standing out as powerfully as ever.
Anuja Mitra, Theatrescenes
See The Life of Galileo. See it for the production, for McColl’s vision, for Hurst’s ever-evolving genius, for Brecht and for the selfless humanity of good theatre.
Lexie Matheson, Theatreview
Undeniably epic theatre
Odessa Neilands, 13th Floor