Lifestyle & Culture

Science, Comedy and Theatre Collide in New Show Coming to Newcastle

A close up portrait of Rachel Raynar staring down the barrel of the camera with a red light shining on her face on the left and a blue light on the right. In the background are comets, planets and stars.

Calling all science nerds, comedy fans, and live experience enthusiasts. The Flying Photon is the perfect event for you! Emily Dunn spoke to the star of the show, Rachel Rayner, about her electric show currently touring Australia.

Rachel Rayner is a science communicator, turned theatre star, touring Australia with her stand-up comedy/science show, The Flying Photon. Just a week after performing at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, she took the time to sit down with me and talk about how she was inspired to create this amalgamated mess of comedy and quantum.

Heads up UoN science students- Rachel has an Undergraduate Degree in Physics and Art History! A combination that even Rachel admits is a little strange.

“My plan had always been to pick physics or art history and kind of focus on that, but I just loved them both so much I just couldn’t decide!”

Rachel Raynar with red a

Rachel Raynar’s The Flying Photon, courtesy of Uncapital Productions.

“My uni degree ended up being much like my Year 12, I did physics, I did art history, I did life drawing, French, Maths, English – lots of different things. I couldn’t pick one, my brain needed all of them,” she said.

After finishing her undergrad, she then completed a Graduate Diploma with the Australian National University. this led her to the Questacon Science Circus, a partnership program between ANU and Questacon, which is where she learned about science communication.

“It was the science I loved so much, but there’s the communicating, and the talking, and the sharing, and kind of analysing and critiquing that we get from art history, and English, and languages. And being able to do that in a scientific context was perfect for me. It was a perfect fit that I didn’t think of when I started my undergraduate degree.”

Rachel describes The Flying Photon as “a show where we go on a journey through the electromagnetic spectrum”, where science meets theatre. her creation has even received a glowing review from Dr Karl!

Do yourself a favour – you’ll laugh and learn at the same time.” – Dr Karl

But if you’re not a science student, there’s no need to worry. This show wasn’t just made for those in the science realm, “I want it to be a show where people can find the things that they’re curious about in that story,” Rachel explained.

“There are just these beautiful images of our universe, that are just spectacular, and I just love sharing them.

You don’t have to understand all of it, you don’t have to remember all of it. But hopefully, there are key little things that people take away and explore more of.”


So, if you’re looking for a compelling, funny, and eventful way of kicking off your mid-semester break, I strongly recommend The Flying Photon. A hilarious show, presented by a talented and passionate scientist.

Catch The Flying Photon at Royal Exchange Salon Theatre, on 9 April 7:30 pm.

Tickets are available HERE!

Feature Image: Courtesy of Uncaptial Productions

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