Mak­ing SCIENCE Fun

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - What's On - - STAGE -

Cen­trally Heated Knick­ers is the quirky ti­tle of Michael Rosen’s lat­est stage show. The leg­endary chil­dren’s author has teamed up with the Home­made Orches­tra for the pro­duc­tion, based on po­ems from his book of the same name. Michael per­forms his po­etry ac­com­pa­nied by mu­si­cians in the fam­ily-friendly show, aimed at bring­ing out the fun side of the world of science. With the au­di­ence’s help, Rosen and his mu­si­cians will be ad­dress­ing ques­tions such as how ears work, how mu­sic is made and how a spot of elec­tric cir­cuit build­ing can help keep our knick­ers warm. Michael said: “I had worked with the Home­made Orches­tra on my 2009 tour, so when they sug­gested this, I thought it was a great idea. I love per­form­ing and tour all over the coun­try with my one-man po­etry show. Live per­for­mance has a spe­cial qual­ity. “You ex­pe­ri­ence a kind of charge with a face to face en­counter.” Michael was also keen to cre­ate a stage show of Cen­trally Heated Knick­ers to en­cour­age chil­dren to see science as fun and creative. “The first sci­en­tists were po­ets and philoso­phers, peo­ple who saw them­selves as artists and in­ves­ti­gated the world cre­atively. It is only a mod­ern idea that art and science are sep­a­rate. “For science to progress you have to imag­ine and make creative leaps.” Michael has al­ways been in­ter­ested in science, and ini­tially planned to be­come a doc­tor, at­tend­ing Mid­dle­sex Hos­pi­tal Med­i­cal School be­fore mov­ing to study English Lan­guage and Lit­er­a­ture at Ox­ford. He said: “I was about 19 when I re­alised that be­com­ing a doc­tor wasn’t right for me, and it was dur­ing my time at Ox­ford that I be­gan writ­ing.” His first book of po­etry, Mind Your Own Busi­ness, was pub­lished in 1974, and since then he has writ­ten more than 140 ti­tles, in­clud­ing po­etry, fic­tion and pic­ture books for chil­dren, and non-fic­tion for adults, in ad­di­tion to per­form­ing, teach­ing, and ap­pear­ing on ra­dio and tele­vi­sion. He said: “I didn’t start out writ­ing specif­i­cally for chil­dren, but my early work in­cluded short mono­logues about child­hood, look­ing at the world as the child I was, and I got grabbed, as the chil­dren’s book world is al­ways look­ing for ideas. “Be­cause I have been writ­ing in this way for so long I can imag­ine how I as a child would have liked it. You play with the au­di­ence in your head.”

Cen­trally Heated Knick­ers will be at Maid­stone’s Ha­zlitt Arts Cen­tre on Fri­day, June 21, with shows at 1.30pm and 5pm. Tick­ets are £10. Call 01622 758611. The show will re­turn to the county on Sun­day, June 30, for a per­for­mance at Can­ter­bury’s...

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