S*M*A*S*H Hit At The Tabard Theatre

Hollywood star Alan Alda makes surprise visit to see his play Radiance

Chiswick Events

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Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW

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He is known to millions for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the American TV series M*A*S*H but Alan Alda was in Chiswick last night with a very different purpose.

The award-winning actor, film-maker, activist and playwright, turned up to the Tabard Theatre to watch the production of his play Radiance - The Passion of Marie Curie, which stars Cathy Tyson.

Alan Alda with the cast of Radiance

Alan Alda with the cast of Radiance; Pic Torin Douglas

Alda, who has a lifelong interest in science and serves on the boards of several scientific organisations in the United States, wrote the play to bring his "hero" Marie Curie to life. Radiance is his first play and premiered in 2011 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

After the performance, he posed for pictures with the cast and they had a long discussion about the show.

Audience members were surprised and delighted to see the well-known actor in their midst.

Chiswick journalist Torin Douglas was at the performance and said: "Alan Alda's visit was kept very quiet and it was pure chance I happened to have booked tickets for that night. But it made it a very special occasion. He and his wife clearly enjoyed the production and he had a long chat with the cast - and the production team - afterwards."

Alan Alda shares a joke with the cast- Pic Torin Douglas

Alan Alda shares a joke with the cast- Pic Torin Douglas

Alan Alda became famous for his long-running role (1972-1983 )as the doctor Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H. The series followed a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the "4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" in South Korea during the Korean War.

He also played the role of Senator Arnold Vinick in The West Wing (2004-2006) and his Broadway shows include Glengarry Glen Ross (2005) for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award. He has been a supporter of several scientific institutions and has presented programmes on science on PBS. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

Pictured with the cast of M*A*S*H

Pictured with the cast of M*A*S*H

In an interview four years ago for Playbill magazine, Alda said "Marie Curie is my hero. Few people have accomplished something so rare -changing science. And as hard as that is, she had to do it against the tide of the culture at the time-the prejudice against her as a foreigner, because she was born in Poland and worked in France. And the prejudice against her as a woman."

He added: "I'm first of all an artist, and I love a great human story. Science is people like Marie sacrificing so much to be able to understand a mystery — the dedication, the gift, to discover something that has never been seen before. It's a beautiful story, and it's always one that's exciting and inspiring."

Read Liz Vercoe's review of Radiance

February 12, 2015