Ministry of Science Live – Riverfront Theatre, Wales.

This week we were invited along to the Riverfront theatre to watch the explosive Ministry of Science show, I have mentioned before that one of my little girls is very keen to learn everything about science, and even picked up her science book to take along with her, and once we had finally arrived on the right day (yes I turned up a day early, yes I felt stupid, no nobody was surprised, sigh) this is what we thought of the show.

I wasn’t really surprised that the theatre was pretty much packed out when we arrived, and those seats occupied, were full of children, just waiting for the explosions they had been promised. It really wasn’t long before the first explosion of the show and it made me jump out of my seat! My girls were delighted and there were many excited children bouncing around afterwards.

As the scientists talked about methane gases and cow poo my eldest was flicking to the right pages of her book, from information about the different types of energy to the periodic table, she is a big fan of science so was in her element recognising the things that she already knew and absorbing the new information like a sponge.

The exciting voice over from Peter Dickson (that one from the X Factor) added drama to proceedings too, and the great scientists in history scene explaining why they were famous was pretty special I thought. Especially as they included amazing women such as Ava Lovelace and Marie Curie.

As the experiments and explosions continued and we all learnt something new the entertainment kept on coming, I’ve always said that children learn best when they are having fun and this wonderful show proved that. Even my youngest, who I thought might be a bit young to fully enjoy it all, sat still and was clapping and cheering with the rest of them.

From cannons made from fire extinguishers, to flowers frozen with liquid nitrogen the whole show was brilliant from start to finish, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the two scientists Mike and Vicky were very enthusiastic about everything they shared, getting members of the audience involved and even pulling one lucky girl around on a hovercraft made out of household items and a leaf blower.

I think it’s safe to say that this was one of the better shows we’ve seen to date and there wasn’t a dull moment, I was impressed and I know my children enjoyed every second of it. The quality of the set, performance and content was excellent and I would definitely recommend the Ministry of Science Live show to anyone.

The show is still running around the country until the end of November.

Ministry of Science Live – Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

We all know that the best parts of Physics and Chemistry at school were the really exciting lessons where things were blown up. Well now, the Ministry of Science brings all that excitement, and a whole lot more, to a brand new generation of young would-be scientists (and their families), in their fantastic new live show.

Even before Mike and Emma, the two presenters, have burst onto the scene, explosions and fireworks are going off all over the stage, and I don’t mean cute little explosions, I mean bangs that literally shake the theatre!

The show looks at different types of energy and how they are used in the modern world and where better to start than with the heat, sound and light that is produced by igniting Methane bubbles. The heat and light came from the stage and the sound from hundreds of children who clap and cheer wildly, while wishing that they too could be up on stage having fun.

Some of those children get the chance to do just that as, after we see a very convincing demonstration of a human cannonball, the first young volunteers head up on stage to have a hair raising experience followed by an experiment using a Plasma ball to create Star Wars style light sabres – to a chorus of young boys all saying to their parents, “Can we do that at home?”

Under the disguise of a demonstration of sound energy we are next introduced to the word mondegreen. For those, like myself, who have never heard the word before, a mondegreen is a mishearing of a phrase (usually a song lyric), when the listener substitutes words that sound similar and we hear some hilarious examples, including  Sister Sledge singing “Just Let Me Staple The Vicar” and the simply terrific, “Oh Four Tuna” fron Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.

To end the first half, a series of demonstrations are done using Liquid Nitrogen, giving the presenters more chances to have a lot of fun, make masses of theatrical smoke and, just in case we haven’t had enough, create another huge explosion.

The voiceover, X-Factor’s Peter Dickson, leads us into the second half by introducing some pirates and their weapons of war. The CO2 cannon fires foam balls into the audience, the hydrogen bottle rocket cannon fires empty two litre plastic bottles and finally a cannon which contains a smoke machine blows smoke rings over the heads of the, extremely excited, audience.

Before the explosive finale the presenters run through yet more experiments where they create a homemade hovercraft using household items, run through the entire periodic table in under two minutes (and on helium) and introduce us to the concept of renewable energy by creating a smoothie using pedal power.

The final scene where balloons, containing different mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen, are ignited to create a few more massive explosions is the undoubted highlight and, although they are all jumping out of their seats, the audience are screaming and shouting for more – although the ringing in my ears is just as loud!

Four Stars  ****

The Ministry of Science Live review – show goes off with a bang at Scunthorpe Baths Hall

THE Ministry of Science Live exploded onto the Scunthorpe stage causing a positive reaction from audiences.

It took place at the Baths Hall on May 21 with two performances – a lunch show for schools and an evening show for the public.

This was clearly a show aimed at kids but there was plenty for the adults to enjoy too.

And the youngster we took loved every minute of it.

Our ‘scientists’ for the night were Emma and Mike who led us through an entertaining and energetic journey of the mysteries of how things work.

The great thing about this show was it was not just entertaining, but also educational and informative.

Even I learned a few new things!

The best moments came with the bangs – and there was plenty of them.

Cannons being fired across the audience and kids getting up on stage rubbing balloons on their hair to create static were just a few of the fascinating  practical demonstrations on the evening.

The team behind this show have really thought about creative ways to show the science behind how things work.

Kids in the audience were on the edge of their seat  the whole time and, I must say, even I was.

Ministry of Science Live – The Lowry

The show begins with the voice of the X-Factor, Peter Dickson booming out with an introduction to a number of great inventors and scientists. Then the bubbly duo of Mike and Emma enter the stage from the Ministry of Science. Unusually for a stage production you are encouraged to take photos of the show and to tweet them to the Ministry giving you the chance to get goodies in the post.

Mike and Emma then take us through a fun and educational journey through the scientific world. Mike providing some cheesy jokes that the kids appreciate along with the big kids in the audience!

In the performance we saw the first group of kids on stage really got Emma giggling so much so she struggled to regain her composure and and Mike had to bail her out (this added to the hilarity especially for the adults).

The shows is packed with facts that grown-ups will both know and will educate them. The kids learn whist having fun so don’t even realise they are learning. If your child hates bangs then be prepared to cover their ears especially early on when a couple of loud bangs are heard. After the two early bangs Mike and Emma do warn you.

The effects from the Liquid Nitrogen will amaze young and old alike. In the second half all of the kids have the chance to join in when glow sticks are explained (glow sticks are on sale before the show and at the interval).  So if you have some glow sticks at home take one along.

The second half also sees an adult invited on stage to make a smoothie so if you are a shy parent strap your child down. A huge canon will really get the kids going as they try to catch foam balls and plastic bottles. With a finale giving the biggest bangs of the show, making you jump out of you seat, this is most definitely a show for the kids, but adults will enjoy it also.

Ministry of Science Live – Newport.

Why wasn’t science this much fun when I was a kid?” is what I thought as I watched The Ministry Of Science present a Brainiac style dynamic, fun and informative show at Newport Riverfront on Thursday afternoon.

Boring old text books were out as young presenters Mike and Vicki talked excitedly about names that had previously been presented to me without any sort of passion by tweed wearing schoolmasters a few decades ago.

The groundbreaking work of Bell, Da Vinci, Pasteur and Edison among others, came to life through visual recreations of some of sciences greatest discoveries. The effects of liquid nitrogen on a bunch of flowers to building a hovercraft on stage from everyday items made science cool for everyone. While youngsters from the audience were encouraged to take part in static electricity experiments, a grown up was given the task of using pedal power to create her own smoothie.

Any adults who had long forgotten the names of the chemical elements were given a two minute refresher courtesy of Mike’s rendition of Tom Lehrer’s 1959 song The Elements which incredibly names 102.

Experiments were made relevant as it was demonstrated how a Plasma Ball could power fluorescent light strips akin to Star Wars light sabres. With a variety of fabulously loud explosions occurring throughout the show from further experiments The Ministry of Science Show was definitely fun for all the family.