'The Modern Alchemist' takes to the road in 2014

The Ri and the Royal Society of Chemistry are taking the 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES on the road with the launch of a national tour of 'The Modern Alchemist'.

Peter Wothers presents the 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES 'The Modern Alchemist'.
Paul Wilkinson

Tour details

14 March 2014 – LeicesterDe Montfort Hall, University of LeicesterSchools shows, 11.30am & 2.30pm. Family show, 7.30pm book tickets

26 March 2014 – EdinburghJames Watt Centre 1, Heriot-Watt UniversitySchools show, 2pm. Family show, 6:30pm book tickets

28 March 2014 – Scottish HighlandsMoray College, Elgin Both shows will be for local schoolsRequest more information from STEM@uhi.ac.uk

17 June 2014 - ManchesterRenolds Building, University of ManchesterSchools show, 2pm SOLD OUT. Family show, 6pm book tickets

8 July 2014 – PontypriddSports Hall, University of South Wales Treforest campusSchools show, 12.30pm, email sophie.jones@southwales.ac.uk to book tickets. Family show, 6.30pm book tickets

10 July 2014 – PlymouthRoland Levinsky Building, Plymouth UniversitySchools show, 11am book tickets. Family show, 7pm book tickets

13 October 2014 – HarrogateRoyal Hall, Harrogate. Schools show, 1.30pm. Family show, 7pm book tickets

3 November 2014 – NorwichTheatre RoyalSchools show, 1pm, Call 01603 63 00 00 to book tickets. Family show, 7pm book tickets.


In 2014, audiences from across the UK are set to witness a spectacular display of fireballs and amazing chemical reactions as part of a national tour of events presented by Peter Wothers and produced by the Royal Institution and supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The events will be hosted by partners across the country.

The show follows the popular 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES series held by the Ri which was presented by Peter Wothers, a teaching Fellow with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. 'The Modern Alchemist' series, shown on BBC Four, proved so successful that the Ri and Wothers teamed up with the Royal Society of Chemistry to put on a touring lecture show.

Like the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, the live show echoes the explosive stunts and sense of spectacle created by medieval alchemists for their royal masters. But unlike the showmen of the Middle Ages – who never gave away the secrets behind their spectacular stage tricks Dr. Wothers always uses the impressive feats as a way of explaining the scientific principles at work.

Dr Wothers said: “The 'Modern Alchemist' tour is an opportunity to build on the work I did with the Royal Society of Chemistry during the development of the 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

“I think it’s hugely important to make chemistry accessible to new audiences, which is also one of the fundamental principles of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Royal Charter and the work of the Ri.

He added: “Perhaps most importantly, the tour is fantastic fun to take part in and is always met with enthusiasm from audiences of all ages and backgrounds.”

"The Ri is always looking for new ways to engage more people, young and old, with the science behind the CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

"Today we're over the moon to announce that for the first time ever, families and students across the country will be able to watch 'The Modern Alchemist' live in their home town."

The tour will include shows for groups of school students and members of public/family audiences. Ticket prices and booking details vary from location to location.

About Peter Wothers

Peter Wothers is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was awarded the 2013 Nyholm Prize for Education by the Royal Society of Chemistry and was the presenter of the 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES: The Modern Alchemist.

Follow @PeterWothers.