Six German nuclear scientists were locked away for seven months following the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces in Europe in 1945.

They were held captive in England during the final days of the Second World War to prevent them from producing the world’s first atomic bomb.

Their work and moral stances are brought to life in Katherine Moar’s debut play, Farm Hall, which toured exclusively to Bath’s Theatre Royal to Saturday, April 15, following its world premiere in London.

In the event, the American’s won the race – dropping the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on August 6 and 9 1945 to bring to an end the war in the Far East.

It is estimated that between 90,000 and 166,000 people died in Hiroshima, while another 60,000 to 80,000 died in Nagasaki. In addition, tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure.

Farm Hall, explores the ‘fall out’ – forgive the pun – of the race to create the world’s first atomic bomb and the shocking attacks on Japan.

Inspired by true events, Farm Hall dramatises the thrilling story of Operation Epsilon: one of the most fascinating and unexplored episodes of World War Two.

The British government detained the six - Germany’s most gifted nuclear scientists – including three Nobel Prize winners - at Farm Hall, a stately home in Cambridgeshire.

The play opens with the six bored scientists entertaining themselves with a copy of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit, some redacted newspapers, a chessboard and a broken piano.

But their tranquil summer is shattered by the news that the Americans have succeeded where they failed.

The United States had not only built the atomic bomb, it had used one against Japan – sparking professional admiration, envy and guilt among the six scientists.

Every reaction to the unfolding events was captured thanks to the British clandestine surveillance of their ‘guests’. Unbeknown to the scientists, every inch of Farm Hall was bugged during their stay.

Katherine Moar turns what could be a dry intellectual debate into a riveting and intelligent drama where each man’s moral stance and guilt (or lack of it), is revealed. Confined at Farm Hall, they bicker over their part in Hitler’s war and their failure to succeed in their objectives.

Heisenberg (Alan Cox) is the group’s leader, his friend, Weizsäker (Daniel Boyd), has family links to the Third Reich, Bagge (Archie Backhouse) is an apologetic Nazi party member, while Von Laue (David Yelland) was a vocal objector to the Nazi regime.

Hahn (Forbes Masson) feels guilty for discovering nuclear fission, a key factor in the creation of the atomic bomb, while Diebner (Julius D’Silva), openly admits to supporting the Nazis to further his work and career.

Directed by Stephen Unwin, each actor brings their character’s moral position alive and gives a subtle performance in a production that is packed with learning but never shows off.

It provides a fascinating and thoroughly absorbing 90 minutes of theatre that lacks an interval.

For tickets at the Theatre Royal Bath call the box office on 01225 448844 or visit