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Greg Foot: Caution – Safety Goggles Required – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Iain Sykes

Many years ago, back in this reviewer’s schooldays, a rather mad, white-labcoated chemistry teacher desperate to engage a bunch of fourth formers in the joys of science with a chemical reaction that would create a bit of a “pop”, accidentally put too much something or other into the mix and created an explosion that shook the whole school and, probably, the whole neighbourhood, before carrying on the lesson, undaunted and sans eyebrows, through a thick cloud of smoke.

That looming sense of jeopardy with the promise of bangs and flashes in TV science presenter Greg Foot’s stage show, ominously titled Caution – Safety Goggles Required sees a growing excitement in The Lowry audience as he takes to the stage. And it’s good to see that science has lost none of its madness. This is after all, a man who has been frozen, shot and buried alive….all in the name of science.

Known to most of his young audience as the science guy from Blue Peter, Greg Foot delivers his show with a great amount of charm, humour and boundless energy – (quite possibly kinetic energy), or maybe that’s a question that one of audience could ask him in his future shows, as in several sections of his show, he bravely answers unseen quick-fire science questions written by audience members pre-show. For the main part, he responds to the curious minds of the nation with the most popular questions asked previously via his social media outlets. And there are the promised bangs and flashes right through the show and much more. He has no shortage of volunteers, young and old to help him visually explain the various answers to questions such as the burning issue of “Why are chillies hot?” and the lavatorial “Why does sweetcorn pass right through you?”. And it’s good to see that “Why do beans make you fart?” is still among the top science questions of the day.

The sense of fun is added to by sidekick Neil Kelso at the piano, to sing the questions and to badly pun and rhyme a summary of the answers. Greg Foot’s show takes you on a journey of questions you never thought you’d ever need the answer to, from explosions in space to human poo, with gunshots, explosions and improvised flamethrowers on stage too. As the rapt and enthusiastic young faces in the audience prove, it’s a great show for anybody (of any age) with a young and curious mind.

Reviewed on 22nd May 2016

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