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Helen Arney: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Marissa Burgess

There's something uniquely satisfying about Arney's latest show. It's an intelligent mixture of her now trademark song, gags and science all bound up in a stylish package. Yep that's right, stylish, though she's a self confessed geek this lady has flair in both content and presentation. There's plenty of attention to detail here, even her PowerPint has an especially designed Arney/Angel logo.

Since this is a science show, she has a graph  of her parents’ perception of her success: science degree and work at the BBC causing a peak, performing stand-up comedy and no kids, a dip. But in truth she has much to be proud of. A physics graduate who's toured with the Infinite Monkey Cage – Robin Ince, Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre et al - and performed in 'geek cabaret' Festival Of The Spoken Nerd.

Though not her first solo Fringe show, this is her first on sciency lines and in this she guides us through her favourite triangle, Schrödinger’s cat and, if you're a struggling arts graduate and it's all getting a bit much, there's a pretty picture of a solar flare. That said, don't worry if you know nothing about science – there are both arty types and nerds in the crowd and Arney explains it all without sounding either patronising or tying you up in knots. Quantum mechanics never seemed so simple.

The science and gags are complemented with song and Arney's aren't just amusing but also  beautiful, strummed on her ukulele and sung with clear voice. There's a call to make love like the animals, a love song about cryogenics and in the opener, Voice Of An Angle how she would like to be remembered.

Who'd have thought science could be so witty? Someone should have told my physics teacher that.

Review date: 26 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess
Reviewed at: Underbelly Cowgate

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