Singing mushrooms and supersized fruit flies to celebrate Invisible Worlds at Eden this half-term
A riot of science-themed fun, including a circus of human fruit flies and opera-singing fungi, will be unleashed at the Eden Project this half-term (May 25 to June 3).
The programme of activities has been formulated to celebrate the opening of Eden’s ground-breaking new Invisible Worlds exhibition.
Invisible Worlds is a major permanent exhibition that will reveal the world beyond our senses: too big, too small, too fast, too slow and too far away in space and time.
From May 25 to 27, Guerrilla Science’s Mutant Fly Circus will be bringing their troupe of human fruit flies to Eden, seeking out and celebrating human mutations - from red hair to rolled tongues.
Fruit flies are the unsung heroes of scientific research. For more than 100 years they have been the workhorses of geneticists, casting light on the role of genes in driving development, and revealing fascinating insights into human biology and the process by which a human embryo develops into a complex human being.
Visitors can come face to face with the fruit fly and its scientific legacy, and their wonderful mutations (from extra pairs of limbs to hairy faces), and meet the mutants as they buzz around the site, join a mutant tour, a neuroscientist disco and find out more about these fascinating freaks of nature.
On May 28 to 31, The Unsung Heroes of Planet Earth will bring fungus-themed opera to the Eden Project. The show is a hilarious and energetic environmental performance that brings the magical story of tree communication to life, revealing how trees can speak to each other through an underground network of fungus.
Within the show, the audience will journey deep beneath the soil and discover the ecosystem as they follow three extraordinary organisms on a quest to reconnect with the forest. Unsung Heroes is a fascinating and eclectic adventure told through opera with physical theatre and spoken word.
From June 1 to 3, the BBC One Show’s resident scientist Marty Jopson will be bringing a live microscopy show to Eden. He will take visitors on a journey from everyday life, down into the realm of microscopic wonders.
The adventure begins with things you can almost see but soon takes visitors into a world invisible to the unaided eye. Marty will show hugely magnified insects, bacteria and plants and will demonstrate the most up to date fluorescent techniques live on stage. The show will include interactive demonstrations and make use of samples harvested from the audience.
From May 26 throughout half-term, Eden will also be welcoming the Ministry of Science who will offer hands-on experiments as they journey into the world of mighty microbes. Sciencedipity will be on hand with activities, experiments and interactive displays. The Travelling Tardigrades will see Eden's storytellers introducing visitors to some special microbial friends and tell incredible tales about these microscopic monsters.
Gabriella Gilkes, Invisible Worlds Programme Manager, said: “Invisible Worlds is the biggest new development at Eden since we opened in 2001 and we’d love for everyone to come and celebrate with us this half-term.
“We have loads of fun performances and activities that will bring science to life in an illuminating and hilarious way.”
Invisible Worlds will see Eden’s Core education building transformed with an all-new collection of exciting interactive exhibits, including a spectacular 8.5-high ceramic sculpture.
Visitors will enter the Core through a new route, which will take them to three spectacular interactive digital exhibits, exploring the vast and small invisible world and the evolution of the world’s life support system, driven in the main by microbes.
The first area, known as Small Invisible, will feature a wide range of curious ways to view microbes, including using super-sized microscopes.
The second area, Vast Invisible, is an interactive sculpture that illustrates the flows of matter through air, water and land. Visitors will enter a frame and become part of the exhibit as matter flows in and out of them.
The third area, Past Invisible, is a series of stunning animations projected across an extraordinary 3D structure.
These three introductory exhibits will lead visitors through to the stunning centrepiece: an 8.5m-high artwork by Future\Pace artists Studio Swine (which stands for Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers), a collaboration between Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves.
It is designed as a monument to cyanobacteria - one of the world’s smallest, earliest and most important organisms, and one of the first on Earth to produce oxygen. The work pays tribute to these vital but invisible unsung heroes of the natural world, much in the same way as notable people are commemorated with statues.
All half-term activities are included in the standard Eden Project admission price. For more details or to book tickets, see www.edenproject.com.