Posted: July 28, 2008
If you’re planning on visiting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer and fancy some light-hearted ‘space-based silliness’, then make sure Helen Keen’s show – It Is Rocket Science – is on your itinerary.
Helen Keen is a space-rocket fanatic, and brings her first solo stand-up show It Is Rocket Science to life with a fusion of comedy and a large amount of tinfoil, in a whistlestop tour of the 'Great Brains' who put monkeys, ladies, dogs and gentlemen into orbit. In her own words she describes the show as “space-based silliness” but her material is all based on her life-long passion of the story of rocketry, and accordingly her show is interspersed with personal stories too.
“Space is something I've been interested in as far back as I can remember,” Helen told Astronomy Now. “I was always dragging my Dad outside to help me look for Halley's Comet in the night sky years before it actually returned.”
“The development of the rocket is a fascinating, inspiring, disturbing story full of peculiar characters,” she continues. “Obviously it's enjoyable to talk about things you're really, really interested in, so it was sort of a natural choice as a topic for my first show.”
Helen started stand-up comedy as an adult, but impressively, only a year after she began to write comedy she won the first Channel 4 New Comedy Writing Award in 2005. Since then she has been nominated for various other awards including Hackney Empire's New Act of the Year, Funny Women and the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year. She has also contributed to popular comedy shows on TV and radio, including The Friday Night Project on Channel 4, The Now Show on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 1’s comedy show The Milk Run. She is currently developing programmes with BBC 3 and writing two sitcom pilot scripts for Channel 4.
“Mainly I just want to entertain people,” she says. “But it's great to chat to people afterwards and find that it's more common than not to have had an interest in space and rockets and the stars at some stage. And if anyone who sees the show rediscovers that enthusiasm a bit then that's wonderful too.”
Helen will be delivering her talk throughout the Fringe Festival from 30 July to 25 August (excluding 13 August) at 12:30 in The Gilded Balloon’s Wee Room. Tickets are available from the Fringe website here. And for those you can’t make it up to Edinburgh she will also be performing the show at the
Dana Centre in London on Tuesday 4 November at 7pm.
Further information about Helen Keen and It Is Rocket Science can be found on the following websites: