Bang on! The surprising real science of fireworks (matinee)

2.00pm to 3.15pm, Sunday 13 September

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London
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Tickets are now available

  • Credit: Matthew Tosh


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

Please note, this is a rescheduled event, originally planned for Friday 17 April.

Visit the magical and explosive world of pyrotechnic science.

Find out about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) behind firework display operation and see how colours, sound effects and perfectly timed bursts are created. 

Join professional pyrotechnician Matthew Tosh as he lifts the lid on the serious science behind the effects that wow audiences all over the world.

Matthew's expert skill will bring firework effects indoors in a lecture that is guaranteed to be fiery, exciting and occasionally smelly.

Matthew will also be doing a show on Saturday 12 September 2.00pm to 3.15pm and Saturday 12 September 6.00pm to 7.15pm.

About the speaker

Matthew Tosh is a presenter and pyrotechnician who has worked behind the scenes of firework displays and live performances for the past 14 years. The former teacher and TV presenter has always been fascinated by how things work.

He splits his time between live event work and STEM engagement in schools and festivals across the country. His live stage shows about fireworks and special effects have been a huge hit with all age ranges and his work has become internationally recognised by the global fireworks industry.

Matthew is highly-respected by many of the top UK science presenters for his health and safety work. His deep-rooted, equalities-driven, can-do approach has resulted in him being head-hunted for science festival and stage show safety.

A collaboration with Aardman Animations saw Matthew create special effects and explosions for the movie Early Man, which was released in January 2018.

Closer to home, when he’s not setting fire to things, Matthew can be heard on local radio in Bristol.


The doors will open at approximately 1.30pm, with a prompt start at 2.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted into the gallery.

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