Home / Drama / Pulse Fringe Festival: The Ethics Of Progress – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Pulse Fringe Festival: The Ethics Of Progress – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Writers: Jon Spooner, Chris Thorpe, Clare Duffy

Director: Amy Hodge, Jon Spooner

Reviewer: Glen Pearce



There seems to be a theme in this year’s Pulse Festival for artists to take the phrase ‘lecture theatre’ literally. So far we’ve had lecture based performances on economics and art and now the unlikely subject of quantum physics.

A show that involves a lecture on such cerebral subjects as entanglement, particle superposition and teleportation may sound the stuff of TV sci-fi channels but, while it may be an unlikely subject for a theatre show, one can’t help but be taken along by performer Jon Spooner’s enthusiasm and charm.

Using well thought out slides and a machine-gun approach to facts, Spooner doesn’t pretend to be a scientist but he manages to make the most obscure physics principles seem every day.

There’s a twist in the tale though; just as we’ve managed to get our heads around the principle of entangled particles and the real possibility of transporter technology and think we’re watching a science lecture, we’re asked to think about the consequences of such advances.

Just as the wheel irrevocably changed human development, transporter technology would also forever change our future. While there’s obviously scope for good, what are the costs? Even if our bodies could be dematerialised and reassembled on the other side of the world, what would happen to our memories, our personality and the layers that make up our unique lives? When we now own phones that contain more computing power than that used to put the first man on the Moon, what will be next?

There’s a moment midway through the mechanic s of particle physics explanation when the presentation does slightly veer too much towards lecture but it’s soon recovered. Spooner doesn’t claim to have the answers but does give plenty to think about in an accessible and surprisingly entertaining manner.


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