Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario is a science lesson disguised as a zombie apocalypse show. It’s occasionally a little bit patronising, and some of its jokes fall a little flat, but this is actually a well-structured, fun little performance, which packs in some pretty good science content.
The lecturer is a certain Dr Austin, a ‘zombiologist’ who guides his class through three stages of a zombie apocalypse scenario: identifying the disease-causing agent, devising a treatment, and implementing protective measures. Each section is accompanied by interactive demonstrations to explain how the science works, and then the audience votes on the action it considers appropriate.
These activities aren’t challenging, but the scientific ideas behind them are engaging. In one, Dr Austin asks the audience to pelt Velcro-covered balls at a target to explain cell receptors and virus resistance; in another, an audience member must try to wash her hands clean after they’ve been doused in a liquid that shows up under UV light. Austin combines biological science with public health, also taking the audience through the different ethical choices that a government might have to make in the case of an epidemic.
Austin’s style is crass, but self-aware – he’s playing a geeky scientist, but is also one-step ahead of the audience with his ironic quips. It’s a little frustrating that the science has to be packaged up quite like this, as it’s interesting enough without having to parody itself, but there is at least a certain rigour behind this production’s cheesy image.
It’s a bit surprising, too, that this show takes place from 10-11pm; whilst luring in the horror-crowd, it misses a potential children’s audience that would undoubtedly benefit from its engaging interactivity and good science. This is a fun and easy-going romp that doesn’t forget to end with a good zombie shoot-‘em-out.
Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario is at C (Venue 34) until 25 August. For more information and tickets, visit https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/zombie-science-worst-case-scenario