The Mistake

Theatre (new writing, historical)

  • theSpace on North Bridge - Argyll Theatre
  • 10:45
  • Aug 19-27
  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Michael Mears' Essential Theatre
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains descriptions of wounded and dying people
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies are not allowed in the venue
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years
Dates, Times and Prices


1942. On an abandoned squash court, a dazzling scientific experiment takes place that three years later will destroy a city and change the world forever. This compelling new play by Michael Mears (‘One exceptional man’ (Observer)) explores the events surrounding the catastrophic "mistake" that launched our nuclear age. Through the lives of a brilliant Hungarian scientist, a daring American pilot and a devoted Japanese daughter. Partly using verbatim testimonies, this powerful drama confronts the dangers that arise when humans dare to unlock the awesome power of nature. Preview audience reviews: ‘Superbly written’, 'Very powerful’, ‘Deeply moving and engaging.’

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: If not taking the lift there is a large flight to 1st floor of hotel then a further 4 steps to venue. Alternatively the building lift can be taken to the first floor and then a platform lift can be used instead of the 4 further steps.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Philip Kerr 1 day ago

A hot topic and this should certainly make you think. Both Michael Mears and Emiko Ishii played their multiple roles with dexterity and differentiation . Vivid and starts the day with a bang ..must see

Chris Elliott 3 days ago

Wonderfully written play which was superbly acted by two immensely talented actors about an historical but totally topical event. It brought tears to my eyes - a ‘must see’ play where the use of limited props is ingenious.

Richard Bannister 3 days ago

A powerful, moving and timely play performed with great skill and versatility by two talented performers who bring vividly to life these momentous events and their frightening implications for all of us.

Lorraine Wallace 7 days ago

Excellent play and so well acted. Very clever use of limited props. The content is relevant for our world today and is delivered in a very impartial way. Definitely recommend

Jonathan Chamberlain 7 days ago

Michael Myers has a genius for characterisation, conveying the essence of real historical figures with a handful of simple props and costumes changes. This is a two hander, in contrast with his previous piece on conscientious objectors, and Emiko Ishi creates a powerful dynamic with moments both of shock & poignancy. This is no agit prop, but a profound meditation on what it meant to build and drop the bomb, with a horrible contemporary relevance.

Kevin Marchand 8 days ago

If you like to be challenged second thing in the morning go and see this intense moving two hander. An excellent piece of theatre that should make you leave thinking deeply

Sam Henry 8 days ago

Michael and Emiko present a delicately interwoven medley of perspectives that communicate less-known stories of the first atomic bomb and its (immediate) lived impact. This is a gripping, moving piece that keeps your attention from start to finish — and leaves you with plenty to ruminate. As both a beautiful demonstration of acting talent and a history lesson with striking contemporary implications, The Mistake is well worth a watch.

thomas hunter 8 days ago

A beautiful and harrowing play about the bombing of hiroshima. Intensely moving, flawlessly acted and cleverly directed

Stuart Forbes 9 days ago

"The Mistake" is a devastating play about the bombing of Hiroshima, told from all sides of the story. It is equal parts gut-wrenching, infuriating and heartbreaking, leaving you numb but with an underlying fury. This is the closest I've ever come to tears in a theatre, and this is a show I'll never forget. See it if you can.

Deirdre Armstrong 9 days ago

This is a passionate and powerful play, very well acted. It brings home the human cost of nuclear war for those who are targeted and those who develop and inflict it. Definitely go if you can - it is so relevant at this moment of global insecurity.

Clare A 10 days ago

This work is a prime example of why people tell stories through theatre. I wouldn’t have watched the film, read the book, understood the photograph etc before watching this performance, but such a personalised account of this terrible tragedy in all ways, made me feel very sad but also galvanised me to learn more. Go and see this if you can.

Neil Turner 10 days ago

Unmissable, we thought. Gripping, dynamic, beautifully constructed and acted. The different perspectives reconstruct real dilemmas, and the shifting viewpoints lift the tone without hindering the message. But please no third mistakes.

Tony Ozell 10 days ago

This was a beautifully crafted production. The writing is pointed and interesting, the acting is powerful with the actors effortlessly morphing from one character to another as the story skips through locations and times. I was a bit uncomfortable with the painting of the people of Hiroshima being paintred as completely innocent victims; there was a passing reference to the treatment of POWs by the Jspsnes, but mp mention of the "Rape of Nanjing" or the treatment of Korea of the Philipines under Japanes occupation. I realise that the entire story is vast and vastly complicated, but painting the pilot of the Enola Gay as the uncaring Villain of the piece and the residents of Hiroshima as completely innocent victims is a bit too simplistic. Still, this story, when taken in context is riveting and beautifully told.

ann bronston 10 days ago

The Mistake is a powerful, elegantly directed, and beautifully acted play. Though we know the story, the tension in the play is visceral. And the revelations of the tangled, flawed, and tragic decisions that change the course of history are haunting.
A Fringe must-see!

Steve Spiro 10 days ago

The Mistake is a thought provoking, powerful and important piece of theatre. This well written, well acted and well directed play left an impression on me throughout the day which is what good theatre is all about. I highly recommend this wonderful production.

Maria Martinez 12 days ago

I went to see this play yesterday morning and it was amazing. The story is truly powerful and intense, and the chemistry between the actors was breathtaking.

Steven Derbyshire 12 days ago

An unlikely duo and at first, we did wonder if it was going to be a geeky lecture, but how wrong were we. This production was one of the most imaginative, well researched and stunning performances we have ever seen in the theatre. The brilliant use of props, quick character changes, the quality of performance and the simple but utterly effective way the story was told was of the highest order. One of the finest productions we have seen anywhere in decades. A must see show!

Hilary Spiers 13 days ago

This is a visceral and utterly compelling piece of theatre. Michael Mears and Emiko Ishii create a spell-binding cast of characters who bring to life the players and victims in the arms race. Inventive and heartbreaking, it unflinchingly portrays the madness of nuclear war.

Lynsey Beauchamp 13 days ago

Visceral, compelling, and very moving account of the development and deployment of the atomic bomb and the terrible human consequences. Inventive, informative, beautifully staged, and not without moments of dry humour, this is a must-see piece of theatre.

Chris Poppe 13 days ago

Spellbindingly good.

David Somervell 14 days ago

What an amazing two-hander this play is - Michael Mears evenly matched with Emiko Ishii to weave many personal stories that led up to the atrocity that was dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945
I attended a read through last August and am amazed at how the script has evolved - to address all the complexities of War and the horrors of atomic weapons.
An outstanding and deeply thought-provoking play that really moved me!

Michael Harley 14 days ago

This is a skillful explanation of the Hiroshima bombing spoken from the first hand accounts of a survivor, a scientist and the pilot. The level of detail is forceful and shocking. The performances authentic and give a real insight in what it was like to be there.

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UK Theatre Web (5/5 stars) 1 day ago

Genuinely, a dramatic treat.

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Times (4/5 stars) 6 days ago

"The past comes alive" "a gripping piece of storytelling"

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ScotsGay Arts (4/5 stars) 7 days ago

Michael’s play couldn’t be more timely.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Dates, Times and Prices