Edinburgh Festival: The Principle of Uncertainty (3 stars)

Quantum Physics as a means of not only understanding the world we live in but as a form of comfort when life doesn’t treat us well is one of the principles behind this thought provoking fusion of science, music and theatre. The other is that knowledge is less important than wonder. We shouldn’t expect to understand everything. Nothing is certain.

Like Jarvis Cocker crossed with a less styled, wilder version of Brian Cox, writer and performer Dr Andrea Brunello demonstrates a series of classic physics experiments (such as Schrödinger’s Cat), then allows us time to absorb them as musician Enrico Merlin plays something atmospheric – from shred metal to jazz – on electric guitar.

It’s refreshing not to be bombarded with theories and while some of the physicists in the audience were expecting to learn something they didn’t already know, the show isn’t really about this – it’s about developing a different way of looking at things. Can humans and bees both appreciate beauty? Can the notion of parallel universes help us deal with death? While there isn’t enough time to really develop these ideas, in setting them up the piece challenges you to think about them and question everything in a way that is fresh and provocative.

Written for The Scotsman


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