Professor Brian Cox LIVE: Our Verdict

Reviewed on 15 May 2017
  • Event review

    Regardless of my love of science geekery, if you asked me for my top tips on what to do on a Friday night in Brum, attending a lecture on cosmology probably wouldn’t be top of my list… But 7,499 other people can’t be wrong. So I joined the crowd last Friday, eager for arrival of Professor Brian Cox and the expectation that my mind would well and truly be blown!

    The TV physicist, accompanied on stage only by a giant screen showing the most awe inspiring images and comedian Robin Ince (who’s Brian Blessed impression is really something to behold), took the audience on a journey through time and space.

    Covering our galaxy and beyond, the mere two trillion galaxies we can see in our observable universe and the estimated 20 billion earth-like planets, multi-verse theories and the big bang. Then a little closer to home, in our own solar system sharing some astonishing photos from the Cassini spacecraft, and back down to earth for even more amazing revelations. It was a whistle stop tour of the universe and a glimpse into Professor Brian Cox’s impressive mind.

    Anyone who’s seen Professor Brian Cox’s TV programmes or listened to Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage will know that he has a unique ability to pitch really complex theories in a way that’s simplified without being patronising and his genuine passion for the subject (and for continued learning) is contagious. This live show was no exception. The audience young and old, enthusiast and experts were all challenged and engaged throughout. With Robin Ince chipping in with welcome comedic interludes and reassuring us that it is 100% ok that we’ll only retain a fraction of what’s been spoken about!

    Broken up by a Q&A chaired by Robin Ince, where the audience could tweet in their questions, it really showed the diverse audience in the Barclaycard Arena that evening. It can only be a good thing that a ‘lecture’ focusing on the sciences can pack out an Arena in Birmingham.

    I can’t lie, before the night I did wonder how one man talking about physics would capture an Arena full of people, a venue more traditionally suited to rock bands or the latest pop sensations but I have never seen the Barclaycard Arena so quiet and an audience so captivated. The 7,500 strong crowd straining to concentrate and absorb as much information as possible, you could hear a pin drop.


    I, like many others, left feeling full of knowledge, inspired and completely small and insignificant... but in the best possible way. This was something different, this is not your average lecture – Professor Brian Cox’s charisma and passion will make you wish you had concentrated more in your physics class.

    Reviewed by   Hannah Wood