Your Days Are Numbered: The Maths of Death – 2012 Adelaide Fringe

Presented by RiAus
Reviewed 6
th March 2012

What are the odds against you seeing a show as funny, educational, audience participating and geeky as this one during the Fringe? Well, I would guess about 900 to 1, so we’ve been exceptionally lucky, but stand up mathematician Matt Parker could certainly work out these odds accurately in the twinkling of comedian Timandra Harkness’s eye.

From the opening scene setting music Why does The Sun Shine from the They Might be Giants album Here Comes Science and the humorously accurate indemnity forms for the audience to acknowledge that we understood that there was a 0.000043% chance of our not making it through the performance (amongst other eye opening ways of dying at any time), to the final song and mathematics (!) routine, Parker and Harkness beguiled, educated, engaged and reacted with the audience in a brilliantly funny way. Through bar graphs, statistics, on the spot mathematics, to a home made death clock/drinks bar and random shark attack, we were led on a journey through the maths of death and enjoyed every second of it.

They proved to us that they were right; death statistics are a rich vein for a comedic act, and facts can be funny, even when it is our own deaths that we are laughing at.

Parker and Harkness were so perfect a foil to each other for this show, and so enjoying what they obviously do well, that even what would be seen as technical hitches (to any other show) were accepted and made a part of genuine audience collusion. Now that is sheer brilliance too.

When a statistical assessment of what is worth doing in life is made, seeing this show certainly makes it into the graph.

Reviewed by Christine Pyman, Visual Arts Critic and special guest Fringe Critic, Glam Adelaide

Adelaide Fringe – Your Days Are Numbered

Venue: Auditorium (RiAus), The Science Exchange, Exchange Place, Adelaide
Season: to 10th March
Duration: 45 mins
Tickets: $15 -$20
Bookings: Fringetix 1300 FRINGE, outlets , or online

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