Review: Dahlia Wilde: Oh My God Particle Show!

Over-complicated production that fails to connect

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Dahlia Wilde
Photo by Lewis MacLeod @ Open Agency
Published 06 Aug 2023

Dahlia Wilde goes on a bewildered journey of discovery in Oh My God Particle Show! as she searches for the Higgs Particle as well as long-lost love. This over-complicated production fails to connect with young and old alike, providing more questions than answers.

Taking on the persona of Beatrice Portinari, commonly identified as Dante’s guide in the last book of his Divine Comedy, Wilde begins her journey towards the Large Hadron Collider, accompanied by her dog, Higgsy Bosoni. Particle physics is a complicated subject, and if she ventured into the Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) intent on educating the audience about science, it would be enough of a stretch. But she also chooses to somehow travel through Dante’s circles of hell at the same time, unnecessarily mudding the waters, and expecting knowledge of his literary work and relationships.

The show is billed as ‘family friendly’, but it’s so mind-blowingly confusing to adults that any child making sense of it deserves an actual science scholarship. Judging by the two children in the audience tonight, one of them seeking comfort in their father’s lap ten minutes into the show, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Dahlia Wilde evidently knows her stuff, having graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in New York City, and then Duke and Oxford Universities, but sadly her ability to educate and entertain – at least in this show – leaves a lot to be desired. “I’m a poetical science dame,” she says at one point, which might be the intent but it’s sadly just wishful thinking.