Drinking Up Time


These extracts from Drinking Up Time are taken from the production at the Bartons Arms in Aston for the British Science Festival 2010.

Wine travel: the obligatory tacky prop-based section near the beginning of the talk.

The nature of alcohol: from a discussion with William Yworth, a.k.a. Cleidophorus Mystagogus, alchemist, distiller and philosopher by fire. (Yworth's Chymicus Rationalis of 1692 is available on Google Books, and gives a reasonable impression of his style.) Our time-traveller, for reasons best known to himself, is trying to persuade Yworth towards modern theories of atomic composition -- but the alchemist spots a few flaws in the argument...

Keep your stinking fish to yourselves! Built around a speech given by the Solicitor-General in the 1809 fish-in-beer trial, as recorded in the official transcript (National Archives, CUST 103/66, folio 928, if you're desperate to know). Included as an experiment in reproducing a historical document with absolute word-for-word fidelity whilst playing it for laughs. It was partially successful, but I can't help feeling there's got to be an easier way...

Watney's Red Barrel. Included mainly for the gratification of long-term CAMRA members who are also fans of Tom Baker. Which, for some reason, is usually at least half the audience.

How history works. From the end of the production. Professional historians of science may find this section clubbingly obvious; it's also a bit cloying and could probably do with being reworked to give a lighter tone. In his defence, the time-traveller has reached his cosmic equivalent of the maudlin-drunk phase by this point in the evening.