Adelaide Fringe Review: KABOOM!

FAMILY-FRIENDLY ADELAIDE FRINGE REVIEW: KIDDO reviewer, Suze, took her kiddos to see KABOOM! presented by Showmen Productions at Adelaide Fringe.

WORDS: Suze Harrington

It’s a Sunday at Adelaide Fringe and a sold-out crowd is packed into The Kingfisher in Gluttony, to witness the science spectacular that is, KABOOM! A table laden with beakers, jars and a smoking thermos has us intrigued, while the fire extinguisher at the front causes us to wonder if the front row is really the best spot…

After our resident scientist Magnus D. Magnus exploded onto the stage and remined us all of the modern conveniences we enjoy thanks to science, it was straight down to business.

A state-of-the-art vortex cannon (definitely NOT a plastic rubbish bin) was employed to select the first crowd helper for the day. Her task was to learn, and then teach us, the ‘science fist’ – the celebratory reaction we would be partaking in when the scientific effects of the show were particularly impressive. Turns out there would be many ‘science fists’ throughout the show.

Describing himself as forgetful, the audience were charged with reminding Magnus of the importance of protective equipment. The righteous screams of “Gloves and Goggles!” will no doubt still be ringing in his ears, as the children took their role throughout the show very seriously.

Image credit: Author supplied

A zany, but endearing Magnus then worked his way through a plethora of chemistry experiments, fusing science with some well-placed life lessons. From demonstrating the properties of liquid nitrogen, to lighting things on fire (and then using ‘science wee’ to put it out!), to the big finale of ‘elephant toothpaste’, the audience were captivated and engaged by the fizzes, pops and explosions.

Perhaps just as engaging as the science before us, was Magnus himself. Quick witted and clearly at home on the stage, Magnus gained the adoration of the children by ensuring that they knew he was not a teacher, the show was not a classroom and they could yell out answers with no need for ‘hands up’. His notion of ‘Safety 3rd’ also earned some fans as he explained “Flammabilty – 1st, Wow Factor – 2nd and Safety – 3rd”.

KABOOM! was not only an enjoyable way to spend an hour, but an educational one too. The love Magnus has for both science and performance was evident, and his ability to combine both is admirable. Particularly impressive, was his performance of the Elements song – incorporating back up dancers from the crowd and sung while concocting the big finale. But it was his encouragement of children that stuck with me the most. The way he reminded them regularly that admitting you don’t know something is the coolest way of finding out, and that playing around and testing things is a perfectly acceptable way of acquiring knowledge.

A photo opportunity and a chance to chat science with Magnus after the show rounded out the experience well, and my girls eagerly lined up to purchase the Science Showbag on offer (although how thankful I am for that remains to be seen – I’ll let you know after we’ve made the slime!)

We had a wonderful time and my girls are eager to try some new science experiments soon, so the show has definitely inspired them. I recommend KABOOM! as a show that ignites the minds of the whole family! Get along and check it out – playing at 11:30am each Saturday and Sunday of the Fringe, in Gluttony.


Until Sunday 17th of March

The Kingfisher, Gluttony

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