Mark Ronan
Latest Theatre Reviews

The Magic Flute, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, February 2016.

February 6, 2016

English National Opera’s outreach to a younger and wider audience is well served by Simon McBurney’s (Complicite Theatre) production, first shown in 2013. Purists may object to the numerous theatrical innovations, but on the other hand this opera was originally conceived as a Singspiel, in other words a play with music, and its librettist Emanuel …

Read more >


The Devil Inside, Music Theatre Wales, Peacock Theatre, February 2016

February 4, 2016

This excellent collaboration between composer Stuart MacRae and novelist Louise Welsh brings to life Robert Louis Stephenson’s tale The Bottle Imp, about a demon trapped in a bottle. He will grant your every wish, but there is a catch. Anyone owning the bottle at death is condemned to eternal damnation, and an owner can only …

Read more >


L’Étoile, Royal Opera, ROH, Covent Garden, February 2016

February 2, 2016

Is this little-known French farce the sort of thing Covent Garden should be doing? Whatever the answer — and audience reception on its first night was very positive — the ROH certainly did it with great verve. The production by Mariame Clément with designs by Julia Hansen is a blaze of colour and clever ideas, …

Read more >


See all Theatre Reviews
Latest Journalism

Standing the test of spacetime

How a thought experiment inspired Einstein’s General Relativity, Standpoint magazine, November 2015, p. 75.

Read more >

Meistersinger, Staatsoper Berlin, review: ‘marvellous’

The new season opened on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Reunification Day with Acts 1 and 2 of Meistersinger, Act 3 following next day. Daily Telegraph, 5 Oct 2015.

Read more >

Adriano in Siria, by Pergolesi, Cadogan Hall, review

In this remarkable 1734 opera, soprano Erica Eloff showed marvellous expressiveness and musical embellishments, Daily Telegraph, 17 Sept 2015.

Read more >

Glorious Summer

Compares the success of Britain’s privately funded opera festivals, with the ready acceptance of failure at publicly funded Covent Garden, Standpoint magazine, September 2015, p. 6.

Read more >

Tristan und Isolde, Bayreuth Festival, review: ‘hugely moving’

Will a Wagnerian triumph keep Bayreuth in the family? Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2015, p. B15

Read more >


See all Journalism
Feature

This is the story of a mathematical quest that began two hundred years ago in revolutionary France, led to the biggest collaboration ever between mathematicians across the world, and revealed the ‘Monster’ – not monstrous at all, but a structure of exquisite beauty and complexity.

This book tells for the first time the fascinating story of the biggest theorem ever to have been proved. Mark Ronan graphically describes not only the last few decades of the chase, but also some of the more interesting byways, including my personal favourite, the one I called “Monstrous Moonshine”.

John H. Conway, von Neumann Chair of Mathematics, Princeton University


Truth and Beauty: The Hidden World of Symmetry

On the face of it, symmetry may seem simple, but diving beneath the surface reveals a whole new world. Over the last 100 years, the mathematical idea of symmetry has proved to be a guiding light for the world of physics. But what does a mathematician mean by symmetry? How does this link in with the world around us? And could it be the key to the mysterious ‘Theory of Everything’?

This was a BBC Radio programme on Symmetry in the Naked Scientists series. Here is the link