Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Edutainment at its most entercational - review of The Amazing Bubble Show (Louis Pearl) and Science Museum Live on Tour

Science Museum Live on Tour and The Amazing Bubble Show, at The Corn Exchange, Newbury on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28

THE Bubble Man really loves bubbles, and he wants you to love bubbles too. He wants you to love the way they float, the way they burst, the way they follow you when you walk (really), and the way they can be trained to create squares, UFOs and bubbles-within-bubbles. He likes putting bubbles on people’s heads, and putting people in bubbles, then getting them to blow from the inside to create more bubbles without popping their giant bubble house. 

The Bubble Man, being laid back and dry-witted San Franciscan Louis Pearl even managed a first at The Corn Exchange, it being the building with the highest ceiling in which he has managed to get a helium-filled bubble to float all the way up. “Cheer wildly if I manage it,” he told the audience, “but don’t go ‘aw’ if it doesn’t. I’d rather have silence than the sound of disappointment.” There was much cheering and applause throughout, as small people and their grown-ups were amazed, wowed and delighted by the beauty of the bubbles, and learnt a bit along the way about the science behind the frothy stuff.

Laying on the science a lot thicker on Friday and creating somewhat louder pops than the bubbles were “Mark” and “Mandy” demonstrating the principles of various types of energy, from potential to kinetic and light to nuclear. The theme was a perfect excuse for plenty of bangs and flashes as the presenters carried out a variety of experiments to demonstrate how energy can be produced and harnessed, as well as donning wigs and padding to recreate an imaginary slugfest between the two fathers of gravity, Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke (I was rooting for Hooke).

The on-stage fun was interspersed (while the stage was tidied up) with on-screen mini-tours of the Science Museum, which felt a little bit like “a word from our sponsor” - but as it is free to visit, there seemed to be no harm in sparking the enthusiasm of the audience to plan a future trip there. My only niggle was why the producer couldn’t find an actor with suitable facial hair to play Prince Albert. But then, prior to the show, I didn’t know that Prince Albert founded the Science Museum - did you? A slight tonsorial slip-up maybe, but overall, it was edutainment at its most entercational.

  • First published in Newbury Weekly News on Thursday, May 3, 2012

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