Science festival Theatre

February 20, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More

The Ideas Factory in performance

This year’s Edinburgh Science Festival has been launched as the Ideas Factory, a hub for information, ideas and innovation, taking place in Edinburgh from Friday 4 to Sunday 19 April 2015.

As always, part of the Science Festival’s purpose is to stage, question and celebrate science in a public arena. Which means everything from the young performers who get rooms full of kids to recreate scientific experiments to staged conversations between the elders and innovators of scientific phylosophy.

Pioneer from Curious Directive

Pioneer from Curious Directive

Somewhere on the periphery of such ventures, there is space for theatre in its various forms. That there is room for more such theatre is beyond doubt. After all, theatre – big serious thought-provoking theatre – fits perfectly with the Science Festival’s mission to explore and question the place of science in our lives.

Sadly there is only one such piece of theatre on this year’s programme with Pioneer which, as part of a six-stop Spring tour, is somewhat fortuitously landing at the Traverse for a three night stay just before the opening of EISF (Thurs 2 – Sat 4 April).

Created by the Norwich-based theatre company Curious Directive, who describe themselves as “an ensemble of theatre makers who explore life through the findings of science”, Pioneer is certainly the sort of thing which should be in the programme. A multimedia sci-fi thriller made in collaboration with astrobiologist Dr Lewis Dartnell, it explores our relationship with Mars.

While Pioneer was a hit at last year’s fringe, picking up a Fringe First no less, Ada Ada Ada will be getting its world premiere when it opens for one performance only at Summerhall on Saturday 11 April.

Written and starring Zoe Philpott, this one woman show for over-18s combines storytelling, wearable electronics and interactive theatre to celebrate Ada Lovelace, born in 1815, who was mathematician, collaborator on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, and author of the world’s first computer programme.

In particular, Ada Ada Ada uses her life and history to examine the on-going gender imbalance for women’s involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Production shot from 3 Bears by Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre

Production shot from 3 Bears by Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre

Down at the Botanics, as part of the Puppet Animation Festival, the Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre take to the kitchen with 3 Bears, a version of the fairytale aimed at children aged between three and seven years, in which Goldilocks and the bears make friends and cook up a porridge recipe together. (Weds 15/Thurs 16 April).

And that, in terms of theatre, is it. Which seems something of a missed opportunity on the part of the EISF organisers, Edinburgh’s theatres and theatre companies. There are, however, a few storytelling, spoken word and comedy events to enjoy – several of which involve Edinburgh-based performers and companies.

On Saturday 4 in an event for children over three, Edinburgh-based storyteller Mara Menzies will be exploring the world of Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the phenomenon of gravity, in Isaac, the Apple and a Bump of the Head at Summerhall.

Also on the 4th at Summerhall, the Edinburgh International Magic Festival is presenting Into the Impossible. Physicist and member of the Magic Circle Kevin McMahon stages a performance packed with realisations of magic and fantasy inspired by science fiction and science fact, exploring the next generation of scientific discovery.

beauty, hostility and wonder

Edinburgh’s spoken word company Illicit Ink is also on board, with a one-off Illicit Ink Skyground out at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh on Wednesday 15. Apollo 21: Lost Among Stars explores the beauty, hostility and wonder of the cosmos through touching, funny and scientific storytelling.

Other performances include the biologist and Science communicator Simon Watt – who has worked with Curious Directive as a science consultant – bringing back his hit of the 2013 EISF: Dr Death and the Medi-Evil Medicine Show, “a historically, scientifically accurate panto for children and other childish people” which looks at ancient “cures”, to Summerhall on Mon 13-Tue 14 April.

The Stand is getting in on the act with Electric Tales: The Science Years on Tuesday 14 April – an event that celebrates the place where science meets comedy and tells a story about it.

And finally, at least in terms of what is of glancing relevence to Æ, there’s more comedy, together with music, art activities and talks at the Surgeons’ Hall Museum, which is holding its first ever Late Event: the Arts & Anatomy Cabaret on Sunday 19 April.

There are however, hundreds of events happening around Edinburgh during the Edinburgh International Science Festival. All the events and listings are on the What’s on pages of its website: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/whats-on. Enjoy!

Listings

Pioneer
Thursday 2 — Saturday 4 April
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street EH1 2ED
Age suitability: 14+
Daily, 7.30pm.
Tickets: £16 (£13)
Details: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/pioneer
Winner of a Scotsman Fringe First 2014, curious directive presents a multimedia sci-fi thriller. Made in collaboration with astrobiologist Dr Lewis Dartnell (UCL).
Post-show discussion with a noted astronomer on Thursday 2 April.

Isaac, the Apple and a Bump of the Head
Saturday 4 April: 10:30am, 12:30pm
Yellow Room, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL
Ages: 3+
Tickets: £5.00 (accompanying adults free but ticketed)
Details: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/isaac-the-apple-and-a-bump-of-the-head
Join storyteller Mara Menzies for an exciting exploration into the wonderful world of Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the phenomenon of gravity.

Into the Impossible
Saturday 4 April: 8pm
Main Hall, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL
Ages 14+
Tickets: £10 (£8/#SciPals students £5)
Details: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/Into-the-Impossible
Physicist and member of the Magic Circle Kevin McMahon presents a performance packed with realisations of magic and fantasy inspired by science fiction and science fact, exploring the next generation of scientific discovery.
Presented by Edinburgh International Magic Festival

Ada Ada Ada
Saturday 11 April: 8pm
Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL
Ages 18+
Tickets: £8 (£6/£4 #SciPals)
Details: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/ada-ada-ada
World premiere of  Zoe Philpott‘s one woman show celebrating Ada Lovelace, born in 1815, who was mathematician, collaborator on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, and author of the world’s first computer programme.

Dr Death and the Medi-Evil Medicine Show
Monday 13/Tuesday 14 April: 12.30pm.
Ages 7+
Dissection Room, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL
Tickets: £5.00 (Family Ticket £16)
A historically, scientifically accurate panto for children and other childish people in which time-travelling ‘Dr Death’, Simon Wattdiscovers that in the past, some of the treatments could be worse than the underlying illness.
Presented by Ready, Steady, Science

Electric Tales: The Science Years
Tuesday 14 April: 8.30pm
Ages: 18+
The Stand Comedy Club, 5 York Place, EH1 3EB
Tickets: £5 (£4)
Details: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/electric-tales-the-science-years
A night of comedy storytelling packed with love, competitions and a healthy dose of weirdos.

Apollo 21: Lost Among Stars
Wednesday 15 April: 7pm
Ages: 14+
Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, EH9 3HJ
Tickets: £6 (£4)
Details: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/apollo-21-lost-among-stars
Performed by an ensemble cast, Illicit Ink Skyground explores the beauty, hostility and wonder of the cosmos through touching, funny and scientific storytelling.
Presented by Illicit Ink and the Royal Observatory Edinburgh

3 Bears
Wednesday 15 — Thursday 16 April: 11am; 2pm.
Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden, Arboretum Place, EH3 5NZ
Tickets: £5
Details: http://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/3-bears
In the kitchen with Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre who, using simple kitchen implements, tell the classic tale in an intriguing and highly entertaining new way.
Part of Puppet Animation Festival

Arts & Anatomy Cabaret
Sunday 19 April: 7:30-11pm
Ages 18+
The Quincentenary Hall, Surgeons’ Hall, Nicolson Street, EH8 9DW
Tickets: £7.50 (£6.50)
Surgeons’ Hall Museums’ first ever Late. Optional dress code: wild waistcoats and outrageous optics.
Presented by the Surgeons’ Hall Museum In association with Thames and Hudson

ENDS

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