Kaboom! …the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022 has begun and there is no better way to dive into it than an hour with Doktor Kaboom and the Wheel of Science!
Playing at the Pleasance Beyond, anticipation builds as my seven year old daughter and I are tantalised in pre-show with a fascinating array of gadgets and curious doohickeys. Stage left, there is an object that resembles a jet engine and there is a sense that Heath Robinson-esque chaos lies within the production. There is a homemade feel to it and as the hour unfolds, this decision is wholly justified. A spinning Wheel of (scientific) Fortune dominates the central platform as the the main event begins.
Doktor Kaboom takes the stage. He is uniquely stylish, with a razor-sharp Germanic wit that could split an atom; he also exudes the confidence of a seasoned lecturer and yet is able to make his material accessible to children, most of whom were around my daughter’s age (7+ years old). This is a skill not to be underestimated and is the driving factor that makes the show enjoyable for both adults and children alike.
The content is consistently (and sometimes hilariously) dual layered. More than once, the adults in the room had a good chuckle at a cheeky quip while the children were busy marvelling at the array of spectacular science. Doktor Kaboom is highly charismatic and although he took a few minutes to warm into the show, my daughter was equally delighted and amazed with the range of mind boggling and brain-tickling science experiments on display.
There is another angle to this show beyond the experiments, possibly best described as one of inspiration; in that he is not only entertaining children here at the Fringe but also enlightening, teaching and instilling an interest in science in them which is often overlooked in our education system. As such, it’s a delight to watch someone who is clearly not only passionate about science but also an extremely knowledgeable and skilled practitioner in teaching. Indeed, even as a 40 something-year-old, I learned a few things.
The verdict from my daughter is that she loved it. My read of the room was that the children were highly engaged and revelled in taking part in the interactive parts of the show. For this unique, entertaining and enlightening show we join the Doktor Kaboom for one of his catchphrases and can confidently say “Ja!”.