An academic from the University of St Andrews will perform in front of a very different crowd when she takes to the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month.
Dr Kate Cross is more used to dealing with students than audiences, however, she will spend the week in front of the most challenging audiences in comedy – children.
A Research Fellow in the in Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution at the University of St Andrews, Dr Cross will team up with fellow scientist Alistair Linsell to perform Marvellous Medicine which aims to entertain with science.
Performing as “Resonant Science” the pair will use glove puppets, baseball bats, and body-popping to explain how aspirin takes away pain, how smallpox was conquered and how being messy can win you a Nobel Prize.
During the show Alexander Fleming will tell the story of an amazing mouldy discovery and the human brain will reveal its inner workings.
Funding has been received from the Wellcome Trust to support the show’s efforts to engage with the public about science.
Dr Cross, 28 from Teesside, has performed science-related stand-up comedy in Edinburgh and Newcastle comedy clubs but this is a new show for the pair who met as part of an improvised comedy group while studying at Durham University.
Dr Cross said: “I have been passionate about public engagement for a few years now and we have both got a lot of science outreach experience – however I’ve never performed at the Fringe before so it will be a first for me.”
Colleague Alistair Linsell, a chemist, has performed at the Fringe for three years and has featured on Channel 4.
There will be a performance of the 45 minute show every day at 10:25am, except Sundays, from 4-18 August in theSpace@Surgeon’s Hall, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh.
Dr Cross believes comedy can help to get the message across that science is fun – and has used some of her stage experience to help teach students.
She said: “I remember things better if I had a giggle while learning them – and it seemed to work for my students too.”
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Alistair Linsell is a chemist and a nuclear graduate at EDF Energy. He has presented science as a chemistry expert for the Discovery series “You Have Been Warned” and has made a “Three Minute Wonder” for Channel 4 on the action of painkillers. He was the 2009 UK Runner up in the National Science communication competition FameLab and has performed family-friendly comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for 3 years with the ‘Shellshock!’ improvised comedy troupe.
Kate Cross is a Research Fellow in the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews and Famelab Scottish runner-up in 2012. She is the proud holder of a ‘Services to Comedy Medal’ from the academic stand-up comedy night Bright Club and was a founder member of the ‘Shellshock!’ improvised comedy troupe.
LISTINGS INFORMATION: Marvellous Medicine
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW
Tickets: £6 adults, £4 children, £15 for families (of 4)
Fringe Office 0131 226 0000 www.edfringe.com
theSpace 0845 508 8515/ www.thespaceuk.com
To contact the venue: [email protected]
Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108/ 0771 414 0559.
Ref: (marvellousmedicine 24/07/12)
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Category Public interest stories