Corpus Playroom
Fri 29 - Sat 30 September
Essential Theatre

The Mistake

Michael Mears

Content warning [May contain spoilers]

One of the successes at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this urgent new play by Michael Mears explores the events surrounding the catastrophic ‘mistake’ that launched our nuclear age.

1942. On a squash court in Chicago a dazzling scientific experiment takes place, which three years later will destroy a city and change the world - forever. Two actors, one British, one Japanese, enact the compelling stories of a brilliant Hungarian scientist, a daring American pilot and a devoted Japanese daughter, in a fast-moving drama about the dangers that arise when humans dare to unlock the awesome power of nature.

Performed by Riko Nakazono and Michael Mears
Directed by Rosamunde Hutt.

Winner of a Spirit of the Fringe Award Edinburgh 2022.
Shortlisted for the Sit-Up Award Edinburgh 2022

There will be a brief Q&A with the writer and performers after each performance which all audience members are welcome to attend.

This production is recommended for ages 15 and over.

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

The Times

"I was genuinely blown away by this production. A dramatic treat."

UK Theatre Web

"A powerful examination of humanity in the wake of Hiroshima."

The List


Fri 29 September at 7:00pm
Sat 30 September at 7:00pm


80 minutes



some verbal descriptions of dead and dying/wounded people

The Corpus Playroom is owned by Corpus Christi College, and managed by the University of Cambridge through the ADC Theatre. The College drama society, the Fletcher Players, are the resident company.

The L-shaped studio is Cambridge's primary fringe space, showcasing a variety of productions, with an emphasis on new writing. Seasons are programmed simultaneously with the ADC Theatre.


Please note: This venue is not wheelchair accessible. More information can be viewed here.

Complimentary tickets are available for full-time carers.

The Corpus Playroom is fitted with an infra-red audio system designed to help deaf and hard of hearing patrons. If you are using the system for the first time, please arrive early and seek advice from our Front of House team.

Assistance dogs are welcome in both of our venues. Please call the Box Office or email the above address when booking to ensure you are seated appropriately.

The Corpus Playroom has gender-neutral toilets.


Corpus Playroom
10 St Edward's Passage
Get directions

From the producers

120 days to go

Michael Mears in The Mistake

129 days to go

Photo by Simon Richardson

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Rosamunde Hutt: Director

Rosamunde has led or co-led three major companies, Hijinx Theatre 1990-1993; Theatre Centre, Director, 1993 -2007; Unicorn, Associate Artistic Director, 2007-2011 and is Artistic Director of Pursued By A Bear for whom she recently produced & directed the new play Nothing on Earth by Anna Reynolds, with original music composed by Helen Chadwick, which toured Hertfordshire & UK venues in March 2023.

For the Arcola Theatre, London, she directed New Nigerians by Oladipo Agboluaje as part of the Russian Revolution season (2017). With Patrice Naiambana (Tribal Soul Arts) she then co-produced the Arcola’s first ever UK tour, with a revival of New Nigerians (2018). The award-winning play Love, Bombs and Apples by Hassan Abdulrazzak, was premiered & completed two runs at the Arcola Theatre, toured the UK, and was presented at the Edinburgh Festival with Arab Arts Focus (2017), at the Golden Thread Theatre, San Francisco (2018) and at the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC 2019 World Stages season (AIK Productions/Turtle Key Arts). Other recent credits include Jabala and the Jinn by Asif Khan (AIK/Belgrade/Turtle Key/UK tour). She has worked as a director in India, Romania, Japan and Bangladesh, regularly directs for Goldsmiths, RADA & East 15, and specialises in new writing, often developing new work with Kali Theatre. She collaborated with Michael Mears in 2016, directing his solo play, This Evil Thing (Edinburgh Fringe 2016, UK and USA tours) as well as directing his latest play The Mistake for the Edinburgh Fringe 2022. Currently she is Workshop Director for The Shadow World Musical, music & lyrics by Karl Lewkowicz, book by Hassan Abdulrazzak, which is being developed in association with the Arcola Theatre.

135 days to go

Riko Nakazono: Actor

Riko Nakazono is a London based Japanese actor, dancer, puppeteer and singer. Since graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC, she has performed internationally and worked with the Oscar, Grammy, and Tony award-winning composer, Stephen Schwartz, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, Whole Hog Theatre, English National Opera, Blind Summit, Vereinigte Bühnen Wien (Vienna) and The 92nd Street Y (NYC). Theatre credits include My Neighbour Totoro (RSC & Improbable); Miss Saigon (Vienna); Madame Butterfly (ENO); The Garden of Words [R&D](Whole Hog Theatre); and The Secret Silk (Princess Cruises).

153 days to go

Photo by Simon Richardson

153 days to go

Michael Mears: Actor/Playwright

Michael Mears’ has been working as a professional actor for four decades, in theatre, film and television. He has worked for all the major theatre companies, including the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Peter Hall Company, and performed in London’s West End on numerous occasions, most notably for nine months in the long-running hit The Woman In Black.

TV work includes Sharpes Rifles (three series), The Lenny Henry Show (two series),  Parades End, Sanditon and The Crown.

Film work includes Four Weddings and a Funeral, Little Dorrit, The Good Soldier Schwejk and Last Night In Soho.

He has written three solo plays for the stage and seven solo plays for BBC Radio 4, all of which were performed by himself. His 1990’s play about homelessness, SOUP, won a Scotsman Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival.

His recent acclaimed solo play THIS EVIL THING, depicting the struggle of Britain’s WW1 conscientious objectors, was performed by him over 100 times between 2016-2019, in many parts of the UK including at Corpus Playroom, Cambridge in 2017.   

THE MISTAKE is Michael’s first play for two actors.

‘Michael Mears is that rare combination of fine writer and formidable actor.’ (TIME OUT, Bonnie Greer)


29 September 7:00pm – 8:20pm approx 7:00pm – 8:20pm approx Book now
30 September 7:00pm – 8:20pm approx 7:00pm – 8:20pm approx Book now