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Horrible Sciences review

Jonathan Schofield is pleasantly disgusted at The Palace

Written by . Published on October 21st 2010.


Horrible Sciences review

I confess I didn’t really get what was going on here, but if you have kids under twelve this is a wonderful entertainment.

The gravity section was a scream as well, particularly as meteors exploded and things were sucked off the earth and came whizzing towards you. The 3D effects were so good everybody was flinching from imaginary objects.

The show follows facts and factoids about science. Now science is a big subject. So here it’s condensed down to electricity, body, gravity information and so on all wrapped up in a tale of a big theme park computer about to go bonkers and take over the world.

A boy called Billy with the aid of some scientists friends, all helpfully geeky, join in the quest to thwart the machine. There’s lots of audience interaction and the whole things belts cheerfully along at a rate of knots.

The second half of the show is the most spectacular with a cunning array of 3D effects courtesy of a cunningly constructed projection on a screen at the back of the stage and the ‘boggle goggles’ we’re all given.

The bathroom section of this part of the show, focusing on bacteria on tooth brushes and on what goes on in a toilet, is disgustingly delightful and had the children in the audience squealing with all the wrong fun of it.

The gravity section was a scream as well, particularly as meteors exploded and things were sucked off the earth and came whizzing towards you. The 3D effects were so good everybody was flinching from imaginary objects.

At the end there’s a little quiz which all the audience help with to make sure the bad computer doesn’t take over.

It must be hard for actors to be reduced to fill-in for the effects but then this is a show not a play. And there’s a long tradition of bringing people into theatres simply to make them go ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’. Back in the nineteenth century theatres used to mock up the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii. It’s all about the spectacle.

The kids love this show. If you want them to sample the delights of the live stage, drag them along. Maybe leave your own good taste at the door though.

Horrible Sciences is at The Palace until Saturday 23 October. Click here for ticket info http://www.atgv.co.uk/manchester.asp

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