Review- Brainiac Live!- Udderbelly


By: Meaghan McGurgan


I'm not the typical viewer of Brainiac. I'm out of middle school, I'm terrible at science and I've never seen the TV show this stage version is based on. When you walked into the Udderbelly, you were handed earplugs and warned about the possibilities of explosions and gases that might cause the audience to have to flee the building. Sounds like great fun, yes?


If there is one word to describe Brainiac Live, it's "high-octane". But perhaps that's a hyphenate... If you or your kids love theatre loud, in your face, and without subtlety; this is the show for you. If you're a parent wanting something that everyone in the family will love, I wouldn't suggest this. This is mainly due to the sound level of the production. Children younger than four and people with medical conditions might be bothered by the sheer volume of the explosions or sparks on stage. It's not for the faint of heart. 


Most children and some adults tend to derive a certain amount of pleasure from watching things explode and guys being hit with a hammer. These aren't the most clever of jokes but they deliver every time. The show is a short, snappy 60 minutes, with explosions in the beginning, middle and end. Everything from bags, bottles and even a microwave ended up bursting apart.


I personally would have enjoyed more scientific explanation and less theatrics with each experiment. I think learning can be fun without fireworks and some of the demonstrations left me wanting to know more. For example, why did the electric fence spark when touched with metal earlier but it didn't spark when one of the actors touched it while wearing a wedding ring? It would have been interesting to know why it didn't spark. Surprisingly, this same question was brought up by a 6 year old after the show. I was glad to see I wasn't the only one who was curious... Maybe I'm not so bad at science, after all. 


It wasn't the best educational show I've seen but it was certainly enjoyable. There’s a Laurel and Hardy quality to the hosts, where they don't quite fit in the mold of scientist. The hosts look the part with wonderful lab coats and goggles but they seem more Pinky than the Brain. Their apologetic explanations interrupt the rhythm of explosions. I think it was a missed opportunity to really make science fun for kids. I would have also loved to have seen a female Brainiac. Women are sorely missed in fields like science and math, especially in HK, and it would have been great to see a woman up there teaching little girls that they can have a place in the world of science.


The show is fun and I believe the show is perfect for young boys between the ages of 6-15. It might not have been my personal cup of tea for educational theatre but Brainiac Live certainly does its best to make science and theatre entertaining for everyone.


Brainiac Live is playing at the Uddebelly through January 10th. For more information, click here. 

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Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 4.0


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