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Borders by Henry Naylor: An Intensely Compelling Look From Two Sides Of War – Adelaide Fringe Review
The Science Exchange – Auditorium (RiAus), Wed 24 Feb
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of person would sign up to leave behind everything they’ve ever known for a one-way mission to another planet, the answer is waiting for you at The Science Exchange in the form of comedian and prospective Martian Josh Richards.
The Cosmic Nomad mines space exploration for laughs and provides genuine insight and some inspired gags. From the start of the video spoof of 2001: A Space Odyssey that opens the show, it’s clear that Richards has a unique sense of humour. Before long he is showing off his geeky tattoos, narrating artists’ renderings of the proposed Mars mission, and detailing the relationship woes of a self-professed former koala suit-wearing sociopath.
As the show continues, the trappings of a Fringe comedy show and/or science talk slowly give way to the realisation that this person seriously intends to climb into a cylinder, rocket 350 million kilometres to Mars, and then stay there for the rest of his life, forgoing loved ones, open air and bacon in the process.
The prospect of moving to an inhospitable planet poses so many questions: What are the logistics of a mission to Mars? How does one accomplish basic body functions or have sex in zero gravity? What’s the Drake equation and how is it like Tinder? How do you spend the last ten earthbound years of your life? Richards answers them all with wit, irreverence and self-deprecation.
While the performer admitted to some opening night uncertainty as he segued between sections and later abandoned a closing musical performance, the audience didn’t seem to mind, as there were plenty of laughs, a compelling slideshow presentation, and genuine food for thought regarding both the science and psychology of leaving the Earth forever.
Cosmic Nomad continues at The Science Exchange – Auditorium (RiAus) from 7:30pm until Sat 27 Feb.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 and adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.