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Ministry Of Science Live – The Lowry, Salford

Writer/Director: Mark Thompson

Reviewer: Harriet Mallion

Ministry of Science Live introduces the audience to key scientists and a vast number of noted academics, but this is far from a boring lecture or a school science lesson. This is a production that fizzes, splashes, sparks and explodes with exciting scientific experiments and more than a sprinkling of interesting scientific facts.

Our Ministry of Science representatives Steven and Vicky begin the proceedings by introducing the audience to ‘Energy’ and its many different variations. A few simple experiments start things off with a bounce and set the tone for a rich array of visual whizzes, pops and bangs that prompt eager applause from the young audience.

Ministry of Science Live is predominantly a show aimed at children of primary school age, but it has just enough to keep young teens and young-at-heart adults entertained. Throughout the show Steven and Vicky demonstrate a range of experiments, all visually exciting and heavy on pops, bangs and explosions. The stage is littered with exciting objects, a blender bike, plasma ball, bottles of liquid nitrogen and vibrant colours all around.

At times it feels as though the production would be better suited to a school environment which would allow smaller audiences to be more involved with the experiments. A quick glance through the programme shows the fine tuned level of detail that has been put into the planning of this production. Every experiment is curriculum conscious and has handy links to help any teachers in the audience link the production directly into their lesson plans; certainly a golden resource for school staff.

Although both performers are full of energy from the start, at times the production falls a little flat. There are some scene changeovers that regrettably result in long pauses and unfortunately the “theatrical magic” which is promised in the Human Cannon experiment is elaborately choreographed but underwhelming when the trickery collapses and the cannon is simply wheeled off stage.

Overall Ministry of Science Live offers some innocent and good humoured fun. It truly does provide an explosion of the senses, and a fun and engaging production for children. The information is well thought out and does not overwhelm a young audience. The production is touring the UK throughout October and November 2016.

Reviewed on 16 October 2016

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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