Doctor Kaboom! & the Wheel of Science

Pleasance Courtyard
Aug 14-21 (12:00)

“Science is for everyone!” declares our steampunk goggled, peroxide, spike-haired host, for the first of many times during this thoroughly uplifting gem of a children’s science show. For it’s not only weird and wonderful homemade experiments being show cased here, but a love of learning, and of life itself. The childlike enthusiasm of our faux-German host leaps off the stage from the get go. The experiments are interspersed with actually very funny and not at all filler gags, and positive role modelling via inspirational little vignettes which avoid the cloying sickliness of ‘wellbeing’ preachers, and positive mindset gurus. Learning, we are led to understand, really is it’s own reward. For it is learning and a love of science which Dr K explains has allowed him make his living traveling the world with his homemade experiments, entertaining adults and children alike. He does throw in a word of warning for any wannabes in the audience however. Air travel can be tricky when you have “Kaboom!” emblazoned on the side of your large and suspiciously shaped luggage.

The ‘wheel of science’ itself is a similarly homespun contraption. Before each section, and with unfaltering enthusiasm, he energetically sets it on its course to allow fate to decide what wonders todays show will lead them to witness. We have the ‘Catapult Shmatapult’, Bio-bulb, Vacuum Vase and the undeniably impressive homemade hovercraft. Audience participation, from the younger members of the audience, is called upon for each section, and todays 6 year old hover-pilot steered her craft with a mix of steely determination and visible exhilaration.

Dr K himself is a sensational, vaudevillian, host. Bon homie, charm, and an incredibly infectious chuckle fire out of him for the whole hour. Parents and children alike are enthralled, entertained, and inspired. Each of the experiments is ultimately replicable at home, and I could see more than one budding Marie Cure & Albert Einstein skipping out of the show at it’s close, bobbing on their feet and animatedly pestering their old folks to scrap the rest of the days plans and head home to embark upon their own quests to master centripetal forces and shoot bottles into the sky.

We are told at the beginning that Dr Kaboom is ‘on a mission to inspire’. When your audience come on stage to actually ‘do science’, banter with children in a manner which never condescends nor patronises, and can provoke laughs gasps and open mouthed wonder, then you indeed have the formula to generate an explosion of inspiration.

Ewan Law

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