Sunday, May 28, 2023




The Alphabet of Awesome Science

Written and directed by David Lampard. Stage Manager Amanda Rowe. Composer Mark Simeon Ferguson. Sound designer  Rodney Hutton. Lighting designer Mark Oakley. That Science Gang. Lighthouse Theatre. The Q. Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. May 26-27 2023.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins


The wonder of words combines with the magic of science in Lighthouse Theatre’s  fascinating and ingenious production of The Alphabet of Awesome Science. Although targeted at 5-12 year olds to excite their inquisitive wonderment at the mysteries of science, this turbo charged show is a must see for all ages. Writer David Lampard’s use of the letters of the alphabet to discover words to describe the scientific phenomena behind 26 scientific demonstrations is truly awesome.  

To warm up the audience and excite their curiosity, the two professors introduce the intrigued audience to a board with 26 numbers. Members of the audience are randomly invited to call out a number which is then lifted off the board to reveal a letter of the alphabet. One by one each letter is revealed until all 26 have been selected in any order. This means that each show will be different according to the sequence of choices. For each letter, word nerd Lexi Con introduces and explains an unfamiliar word that describes the principle behind a practical demonstration that is carried out by science freak Noel Edge. For example a member of the audience chooses one of the 26 numbers to reveal the letter E. Con excitedly introduces the word Erumpent, an adjective meaning bursting forth. Edge then demonstrates the word using liquid nitrogen to fill and burst a balloon, by cooling the water vapour in the air which then condenses to form a large cloud which is condensed water vapour not smoke and the audience is warned of the loud bang which occurs when the cloud expands to burst the balloon. I offer this as an example but I urge readers to go to to discover the amazing secrets of the show’s exploration of the miraculous world of science.

But this is no dry exhibition of unfamiliar words and science lab experiments. To up the ante and set the excitement barometer at full notch, Con and Edge give themselves only 52 minutes to rocket through 26 letters and words that describe Professor Edge’s demonstrations. The heat is on and the show is set on its combustible course of scientific wonderment. To add to the tension, the experiment is interrupted by Professor Edge’s propensity for puns and groan inducing Dad jokes and occasional lavatory humour or even Professor Con’s enthusiastic choreography. In a show as slick and snappy as this, timing is crucial and the two performers are superbly adroit at staying on task while the audience sits in amazement or laughing hysterically at the antics while ducking the water and rockets that dart over the front rows. This is science that explodes with slapstick and suspense, keeping the audience transfixed while the clock ticks away.

At such a crackerjack pace I doubt that much of the information will stick. Wide eyed kids and grownups alike are too absorbed in the sheer entertainment to recall the scientific details or remember the obscure words that Professor Lexi Con magically plucks out of the air. But that is neither here nor there. What does matter is that The Alphabet of Awesome Science is most likely to excite and inspire kids to study science and for adults to once again marvel at the wonders of the world about them. Just imagine how exciting school would be if every class had a Professor Noel Edge and a Professor Lexi Con.  Now that would be really awesome!