In bursts Phanocles, an Egyptian inventor, and his sister Euphrosyne, secretly a Christian. Phanocles has invented a steamboat and a cannon. The rational Phanocles bemoans the irrational nature of man, Caesar invokes Jupiter and others try to use reason.
Play title The Brass Butterfly
Author (s) William Golding
Publisher Faber and Faber Limited
Publication Date 1958
Primary Discipline Technology
Scientist (s) Phanocles (Poet) Euphrosyne (Female Saint)
Source Texts Unknown
Character Breakdown 8 men, 1 woman
Mamillius, Captain of the Guard, Postumus, Emperor, Phanocles, Euphrosyne, Sergeant, Attendants
Setting Rome, in the summer home of Caesar
Time Period Third century A.D.
Synopsis of Play As in Lord of the Flies, Golding pits intelligence against irrationality, but this time the battleground is Caesar’s summer home. In bursts Phanocles, an Egyptian inventor, and his sister Euphrosyne, secretly a Christian. Phanocles has invented a steamboat and a cannon. The rational Phanocles bemoans the irrational nature of man, Caesar invokes Jupiter and others try to use reason. Via a combination of all of these, a happy climax is finally reached. (Dramatists Publishing website blurb)
Set in third century Rome. A scientist invents an explosive missile, a steamship, the pressure cooker and other dangerous technology far ahead of his time, but the wise emperor rejects these innovations and suggests that the scientist devote himself to gardening. (https://sciart.commons.gc.cuny.edu/staging-science/four-centuries-of-science-plays/)
First Performance Date February 24th 1958
First Producer New Theatre, Oxford
Performance History The first performance in Great Britain of The Brass Butterfly was given at the New Theatre, Oxford, on the 24th February 1958. Directed by Alastair Sim. Designed by Edward Seago. Costumes and set dressing by Hutchinson Scott.
Entered by Denise Gillman and Meaghan Yesford
Photo/Visual Research with citations