Science at Edinburgh Fringe

Monday 14th September 2015

Having only been at Science Oxford for 6 weeks I was surprised and excited by the suggestion of going to see what the Edinburgh Fringe has to offer. As it was at the boss’ suggestion – who was I to argue?

Having trawled through the thousands of events online I saw that– only forty carried the SCIENCE tag despite several others clearly having a scientific theme. Itgot me thinking about why some shows choose to avoid the ‘science’ label and others embrace it? Was it to try and stand out from the crowd in a programme already bursting at the seams with Shakespearean adaptations and experimental comedy? Or by omitting it, were performers hoping to sneak some educational fun into people’s itineraries and attract those who are normally put off by the word?

From quantum magic and menstruation to space and dementia, I had lined up an eclectic mix of magic, comedy, theatre and lectures – with a little bit of cabaret on the side. I was not disappointed – each event was brilliant and unique from topic to delivery.

If I had to pick a highlight it would have to be CELL – an exploration of motor neurone disease with Ted and his pet fish. It was exquisite and moving, humorous but sensitive all at the same time. If you looked closely you’d notice that Ted is a puppet, which makes it all the more impressive. It was so good to see that science shows can be artistic as well as have a science theme.

Did I find answers to my questions? The science label certainly did not seem to be a barrier to ticket sales with each show having a very respectable audience. Maybe it was down to the sheer volume of people in Edinburgh but I hope that maybe the science label really doesn’t matter and people aren’t put off by it as much as once they might have been.

My advice to you – next time you are deciding on going to see a show and you see the science label – don’t let it put you off, they can be just as much fun as a Shakespearean play set in modern times or the stand-up you have never heard of. (With the added bonus – you may even learn something!)


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