If any show at the Fringe does exactly what it says on the tin it’s Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show. Full of spectacle, science and surprise, Mark Thompson amazes the crowd with his impressive demonstrations. There are some bangs, fire, balloons and a whole lot of wonder and excitement.
What colour is fire, what happens if you apply 20,000 volts to a stack of pie cases, how do aeroplanes fly and what is the assistant Melon-y going to help with? These and more questions are answered in a fun-filled hour.
Thompson has gathered a selection of his favourite science demonstrations, some from his previous shows, some brand new. While I had seen all of them before, they were well chosen and still delightful and impressive on second viewing. The children loved being chosen as volunteers, the adults perhaps less so, and Thompson has an excellent rapport with all of them, adapting well to both the very excitable and the very distracted child.
Thompson takes great care to create an excellent show for children, there are warnings before any loud noises and a great emphasis on safety. He explains the science simply but correctly (except for exhaled air which is definitely, like inhaled air, mostly nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide), though it’s the nature of the show that it’s mostly explanations rather than having opportunities for the audience to hypothesise.
It is worth noting that as with all good chemistry experiments there are some strange smells and some very high pitched sounds. However most of the demonstrations are generally inoffensive to the senses.
This show is just what you would hope for, full of oohs, ahhh and explosions! The children probably won’t realise they are learning anything, but it will certainly pique their scientific curiosity and have everyone open mouthed with wonder.