Thursday, March 01, 2012


at the Civic Theatre

"Do you have a pacemaker?" ask the health-and-safety-conscious house staff. No, but I do have O-level physics, so no trouble recalling the neon-lit LIGHT, NUCLEAR, ELECTRICAL, KINETIC, POTENTIAL, HEAT, SOUND, and CHEMICAL as types of energy. Our old science teacher enjoyed a good explosion, but of course lacked the resources and the performing skills to keep us hooked for a couple of hours …
Mark and Mandy, from the Science Museum, started their spectacular show with a giant pinball chain reaction, using the amazing stage set which included a Tardis-style South Kensington portal. A golden ticket, a puff of smoke and we were off on an experience which included methane bubbles, air cannon, static electricity, frictional phonebooks, a working hovercraft and lots of "loud and dangerous" bangs.
I liked the video link to Prince Albert, though there was perhaps a little too much advertising for the Museum. Highlights of the live show were Hooke and Newton slugging it out, the tee-shirt trebuchet, the frozen flowers.
Good to hear the hordes of kids shouting out "Isaac Newton", and to see the audience so involved with the action. They were asked to write invention ideas in Albert's book, and came up with, among many others, the voice-box remote control, and the intriguing pickled-onion converter.

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