Performer: David Epley Show: Doktor Kaboom and The Wheel of Science! Venue Pleasance Courtyard - Beyond Time: Noon Dates: 3rd – 21st August Photographer: Fat Yeti Photography
Please tell me about your 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, Doktor Kaboom and The Wheel of Science!
Doktor Kaboom is a character-driven comedy show wrapped around absurd, but real, science demos and lessons in personal empowerment. The character is an excitable bleach-blond German sporting chrome goggles with an orange lab coat and motorcycle boots.
He is joy with feet.
In the show, I bring too many demonstrations to do in one hour, so I have a 2-meter spinning wheel with all the demos on it. And a couple of slots where the audience gets to choose. We spin the wheel, and whatever it lands on, that’s the routine we’ll do! I love it because no two shows are the same. It keeps things fresh for both me and the audience.
I wish they’d been a show like this when I was a child! Where did the idea come from?
I’d been making my living in comedy for a long while, and a few years after my daughter was born, I realized two things; I wanted to be home more, and I wanted to do shows that she would be proud of. So, I turned my focus to family audiences and blended my passion for performance with my life-long passion for science, and Doktor Kaboom was born.
It’s been life-changing! I love every moment that I get to be him, and it is, by far, the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done.
You’ve travelled all over the world. Tell me about some of your adventures.
The World and its people are amazing! I’ve gone, and still go, anywhere I can. And I’ve taken all kinds of work to do it. In addition to acting and comedy, I’ve been a microscope repairman in Mongolia, a soldier, a firefighter, a hotel doorman in France, and an EMT. I’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail in the US, rock-climbed on multiple continents, seen Mao Tse Tung’s frozen body, and been conned by aborigines in the Australian Outback. (Happy to give anyone the details on that one, but we’ll need a pub and a couple of pints.)
If a child says that they want to be a scientist when they grow up, what advice do you give them?
First, I celebrate their desire and share their joy with them! Then I thank them because we need them. If they want any advice, I remind them that who they are is unique, and that’s important because that means their ideas will be unique, their creativity will be unique. So, use their imagination with science, and speak up about their ideas, they will be one of a kind.
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own.
How do adults respond to the show?
Adults have more fun than the kids! Having spent almost 20 years making adults laugh, I’ve kept that in my work. I even encourage those without any kids with them to come see my show. They’ll laugh hard and loud. With fresh, original, joyful comedy.
More importantly, I remind adults that science is for them too. And that it is active. Like Shakespeare’s plays It is not meant to be read about; it is meant to be done. My primary goal is that families leave happy and refreshed, and excited to go home and do some science together.