Tuesday, April 23

Professor Brian Cox presents Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey – The 02, London

As someone who has always been fascinated by space, but never had the brain capacity or time to learn more, I jumped at the chance to be able to see Prof. Brian Cox live.

This show may be seen as a glorified lecture to some, and Cox even referred to it as such, but this was so much more.

With a huge HD LED screen at his disposal, the scientist used it to display some of the most fascinatingly beautiful images I will ever see. From real images taken from telescopes to simulations and artist renditions to live equations, this screen was used for it all.

The highlights for me were when he displayed real life imagery taken by the James Webb Space Telescope and The Hubble Space Telescope, we even had the delights of seeing a ‘selfie’ from a Mars Rover!

For two and a half hours the audience went through a journey from interest, to confusion, to awe as Brian detailed intricate equations about existences of Black Holes and how they operate with time and space.

To keep the night from being mind-numbingly intense, Cox also brought friend, comedian and podcast host, Robin Ince, to the stage to give a welcome reprieve to the audience. Ince is a genius with the way he was able to crack jokes about himself, Brian, and also science as a whole. Somehow, he kept the audience on topic whilst still feeling like they were getting a break.

For me, I was pleasantly surprised by the vast array of people in the audience, there was scientists and mathematicians as to be expected, but there was also a lot of families there – some of the kids were even explaining the show to their parents. It’s extremely heart-warming.

As Robin Ince said in the show “the fact that thirteen thousand people want to sit and Learn about quantum physics and general relativity on a Wednesday night is crazy.”

Professor Brian Cox did not simplify anything within the show, he went off on excited tangents and delved into incredibly niche sections of cosmology and astrology, and though I didn’t understand quite a bit of it to the full extent, it was still enough for me to understand enough to keep engaged.

Thankfully, not everything was extremely scientific jargon that only Brian understood, he also included scientific discoveries from the greats like Stephen Hawking, Einstein and Kip Thorne.

Alongside Robin Ince, Brian himself was quite comedic throughout the show, making comments such as ‘I hope everyone in this room knows the earth is in fact not flat’ and that he ‘drew the diagrams in crayon to seem less threatening’.

If you have chance, and are interested in space, I highly recommend going to one of these shows.

Brian closed the show with an amazing quote that I will end this with:

It is our responsibility to ensure that there is a future for life out there amongst the stars.”

Reviewer: Ely King

Reviewed: 31st August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★