Your Days Are Numbered (3 stars)

This article is from 2010

Your Days Are Numbered

Somehow making maths funny

It’s hard to believe that travel and science journalist Timandra Harkness once had a Princess Diana joke banned by Carlton TV. Alongside stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, the mood of this show is light and fluffy, even if it is chiefly covering the darkest of subjects: death. More specifically, it’s concerned with the date when members of the packed audience might meet their maker. Naturally, there are graphs and diagrams and low-level experiments aplenty, with Harkness leaving most of the geeky stats stuff to Parker, while she does a bit of faux-flirting with a chosen audience member.

An enjoyable little affair, Your Days Are Numbered kicks off with an amusing/startling factoid that we have a 0.000043% chance of dying during this performance before informing us that smoking, drinking and being overweight may not be quite as bad for you as health campaigners want us to believe. If you fancy getting fully involved, make sure you have access to a calculator. If you want to be mercilessly ribbed by these genial hosts, bring along an iPad.

Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 30 Aug, 11.25am, £9 (£7).

Your Days Are Numbered: The Maths of Death

  • 3 stars

Cows kill 20 Americans every year. But you can halve your chance of dying of a heart attack by drinking 8 bottles of wine a week. Death's a funny thing, as stand-up mathematician Matt Parker (audience award, FameLab 2009) and Timandra Harkness ('a deadly wit' [ Scotsman ]) will prove - with the help of a mystery guest, a…

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