Horrible Science is a fun piece of educational theatre aimed directly at younger audiences – and so I sent along an 11 year old and a 9 year old (with their father) so that I got an appropriate response to inform readers of the site.
The show brings together science with some theatrical magic – covering topics as diverse as forces, electricity, the human body and bacteria. Christopher and Katherine were most engaged in the second half of the performance when a range of 3D effects were used to bring the science more fully to life.
Earlier in the performance, the children both felt their attention beginning to wander as the pitch of the show was much more towards early primary level children – thus leaving them somewhat disengaged from the experience. Of course, being children – the introduction of 3-dimensional poo immediately captured their attention!
In the forces section, the 3D elements again come into their own – with planes, satellites and many other items appearing to fly out over the heads of the audience. It is to be regretted that this technique is not used more throughout the show as it was the one part that really got the entire audience fully involved in the performance.
The Bacteria costumes were singled out for particular praise – as was the performance of Gareth Warren. However the overall impression is that the show is very clearly aimed at younger children and so it is not challenging enough to keep a 9 year old and her older brother fully entertained.
Thanks to David, Christopher and Katherine Smith for experiencing the show for Whastonstage.