FRINGE – Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking – Holden Street Theatres – 4.5K

Anyone who didn’t catch John Hinton’s last one man scientific musical journey (focusing on the life of Charles Darwin), when it was on at the 2012 Fringe, really missed out. Hinton is a likeable, energetic performer with a passion for academic history, a deft control of the English language, a sizable chunk of musical ability and a great talent for making biographical stories, and science, fun. This year, he presents Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking, an exploration of theoretical physics and the man who inadvertently paved the way for the creation of the atomic bomb. Joining him on keyboard, and inhabiting the roles of Einstein’s two wives and mother, is Jo Eagle.

The show is delivered in a way that will be enjoyable for a wide ranging audience – from primary school children through to those who may remember Einstein as a contemporary, and from professional scientists through to those who dread/ed the lesson at school. The jokes that will hit the mark with each of these different cohorts are balanced well and blended seamlessly into the show as a whole. A glossary of terms is very kindly provided at the end to illuminate any words or phrases that may go over your head.

In amongst the fun and music, the actual scientific background to Einstein’s theories are presented – with the production boasting its own peer review team, to ensure the accuracy of the information provided. Hinton really makes the concepts he’s talking about understandable. With the help of some members of the audience, the theories of special and general relativity become examples of courtship or Hollywood movie techniques, while his most famous equation, E=mc² is an elaborate and hilarious rap song (with actions).

Hinton succeeds once again in creating an hour of theatre that breaks down the barriers that are sometimes imposed by the view of science as a stuffy and boring topic and shows the pleasure, the excitement and the joy that can be gained from it. At the same time it is an interesting overview of the personal life of Einstein and the impact that one mind can have on a whole planet.

Kryztoff rating: 4.5K

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