By Isabella Fraser
Created, written and performed by Niamh Shaw, a scientist and a performer, To Space is about her dream to actually go into space, the dream of many a youngster and a dream that, for Shaw, has never died. If you are fascinated by space and want to know some more about being involved in anything connected to space travel, then this is the show for you.
The Anatomy Lecture Theatre in Summerhall is the perfect venue for this show, which is part lecture, part performance. The white walls offer a wide screen for shots of the Earth, of space and the galaxies out there. We also see images of Shaw’s childhood, growing up in Ireland, dreaming of science and the world out there. This show takes the audience back to its own childhood and reminds them that we all had dreams them and may do still.
An experiment with whey involves a magnet bar which stirs the mixture and a stir box. The experiment is interesting to watch – an introduction to the scientist within Shaw, but could also been seen as a metaphor for life – stirring things up and seeing what will come.
Shaw has rapid fire delivery and is funny with it. She ties together the facts of science and space with her growing up and the desire to be both a scientist and a performer. The drive to go to space flows through this and it is interesting to hear her discuss the different space agencies and commercial space travel – it is clear from her talk that there is much to explore off of our small planet. The number of people who have been to space (536) as opposed to the number of people on our planet (7.3 billion approx.) gives food for thought. If determination is a factor in achieving her dream of going to space, then Shaw may be in with a chance.