School Holidays are here, and rather than hemorrhage money at the Royal Melbourne Show, there are many other events to take you’re little ones.
For instance, I can heartily recommend It’s Not Circus, It’s Science, put on by the duo Barnard and Wild of Teacup Tumble Theatre. It’s circus meets science meets physical comedy and whips.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to today’s Inaugural Symposium of Distinguished Scientists. Professors Wild and Barnard are here to demonstrate some important scientific breakthroughs – if only Professor Wild would stop tampering with the equipment and making friends with the audience.
It’s Not Circus It’s Science is a 40 minute show complete with acrobatics, clowning, neuroscience and physics. Audiences gasp, yell and laugh uproariously as these ridiculous scientists fumble their way through their presentation. Adults love it, children love it, scientists wish they were it; this is circus for the elite minds of the 21st Century!
Dates: September 27th – 30th Times: 11am each day Duration: 40 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A Ages: 5 to 12 & their families Venue: Northcote Uniting Church Hall Cost: $15 regular, $12 concession Bookings: (03) 9481 9500 or Click Here How to Get There:Click Here
I had a number of influences for An Evening of Rough Science. One of the most important was stage magic.
I have a larger and more detailed talk about how science demonstrations and magic tricks have a lot in common. That’s a subject for another time.
Right now, here are a couple of clips of Penn and Teller that have influenced me over the past two years.
How slight of hand tricks can influence science demonstrations came to me while reading Derren Brown, but Penn and Teller have a brilliant act that lays out the (so called) rules of slight of hand.
Penn and Teller are also famous for telling people how their magic is done, and the cup and balls act with clear cups is one of their most famous. Interesting that in actually seeing how it is done in no way removes anything from the experience. (Interesting, too, how in this video the acoustics of the tomb they are in are so terrible, Penn has to really crank down his usual exuberance.)
Penn now explains human perception of numbers. No magic, but a great way to make an otherwise dry subject engaging.
Last Friday saw the first conference performance of The Cheese Man, not to the adoring General Public, but instead to the hard and steely gaze of the “performance in cultural institutions” big names. To my credit, I did it without too many hitches, and even managed to spray milk over the girls in the front row.
I was gratified to later find that some were genuinely impressed; even Tubby the Robot said he enjoyed it, and that meant a lot coming from him.
So Cheese Man has legs. The Science Week experiment may see another revival next Science Week, and hopefully with a drop more funding.