Mebourne Fringe Review: Towards A Better Understanding of the Universe

Make sure to check out our guide to the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015

You know the crazy-popular Facebook page ‘I F-cking Love Science’? The Melbourne Fringe show ‘Towards A Better Understanding of the Universe’ is ‘IFLS’ brought to life.

This one-man show by David Klein will gently guide you through the scientific world. You’ll learn. You’ll giggle. You’ll walk out with a different appreciation for the world you live in.

Don’t go expecting a whizz-bang hour of wisecracks, jokes, and glow-in-the-dark circus like some other Fringe shows. ‘Universe’ is more like a TED talk — albeit a very low-tech one. Upon entering, we saw what we would later learn is a photo from the– wait, you know what. I’ll let Klein tell you. It’s cool when you find out. There’s also a table with props that he used to good effect, alongside handmade posters. I did wish several times that he would have interspersed the show with some A/V. At one point when discussing our solar system, it would have been the perfect time to use the iconic opening shot from the film ‘Contact’, as the camera leaves Earth and the radio waves slowly die off. That kind of visualization would have been great to add to the show.

But really, it was almost as perfect an hour as you could have. Klein is an admirable narrator. While his delivery may be slightly more subdued than other Fringe performers (he’s not a comedian, after all), he’s a capable narrator. No ‘ums’ or ‘uhs’ were used in the making of this show.

The show takes you on a journey from time (I’ve been alive over 1 BILLION seconds!), to cells, to outer space. I f-ckin’ love science, and found myself turning to my plus one during the show and repeating things: ‘99% of the solar system’s mass is the sun? What?!?’

That’s the thing about this show. Klein’s so enthused about all this stuff (don’t get him started on stars) that it’s infectious. Even if you already know some of the information, hearing it again — and in a new way — is super fun. But it’s not an hour-long lecture on science. Oh no. What I enjoyed most about the show is how Klein cleverly interspersed the different scientific sections with an autobiography. Hearing about his personal journey to learn — with several stumbles along the way — humanised the show. He’s a sensitive soul, that one.

And a smart one. You leave feeling inspired about science. I haven’t felt this way since I read Bill Bryson’s ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’. Which you should read right after you see ‘Towards a Better Understanding of the Universe.’ Then we’ll all turn into science enthusiasts and live happily ever after.

Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa feels her background in history and linguistics does not prevent her from a healthy appreciation of all things science.

‘Toward a Better Understanding of the Universe’ runs 16-20 September at The Tuxedo Cat.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests.