Once Upon a Time

Art, science, fashion and performance…

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Education event series

– in development


This highly engaging event series has been designed to bring art and science together for an adult audience. It is accompanied by a range of online elements to extend the before-during-after audience experience.


Once Upon a Time takes us on a journey to dissect the science and cultural context of four well-known fairytales. Each event provides an experiential journey that places the audience at the heart of the action. Underpinned by scientific content and artistic perspectives, the aim is to stimulate creativity, promote dialogue, and spark debate. Performance, art, food and fashion are combined within highly visual environments.



Snow White


Snow White

Set in a 1920s botanical supper club and held during the Valentine’s Day period. The audience embarks on a seven-stage emotional journey through temptation, desire, jealousy, anxiety, pain, euphoria and love. They will explore seed planting, genetic diversity, evolution, tree grafting, botanical defences, cyanide-containing seeds, and sweetness as the prototype of all desire.






Set in Buenos Aires with a 1940s film noire atmosphere and held during the Easter period. The audience explores perceptions of body image and physical ideals of beauty, transformation and the illusion of power through costume, evolution and psychology of dance as a mating ritual, and the physiology and the impact of shoes on gait and posture. A tango milonga takes place as the final ball.



Hansel and Gretel


Hansel and Gretal

Set in the future within a famine-hit landscape, and held across the Halloween period. The landscape encompasses an industrial building filled with a sinister maze of corridors and unmarked doors. Rooms lead towards a large hall for the finale which is a representation of a fast food outlet, filled with garish colours, loud jingles, glaring neon signs and over friendly welcoming waiters. The audience explores scarcity and plenty, in vitro meat, future food and nanotechnology, and the neuroscience of obesity and satiety.



Sleeping Beauty


Sleeping Beauty

Takes place in a snow-filled Japanese setting during the lead-up to Christmas. A geisha plays the role of Sleeping Beauty performing fan dances, aerial silks and martial arts. The audience does not know if they or the performers are asleep, awake or dreaming. They examine the neuroscience behind different states of consciousness such as awareness and locked-in syndrome and the various types of brain waves, lucid dreaming, hypnosis and memories.



Once Upon a Time is currently in development with our production partners Guerrilla Science. It will involve the collaboration of a wide range of scientists, artists and performers, along with co-creation from the public.