stand-up physics

A performance by Jan van den Berg ‘Before Higgs, symmetry and boredom.
After Higgs, variety, excitement and laughter.’ The show was a big success at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. ‘A mind-expanding tribute to Peter Higgs’ (The Scotsman) ‘A storytelling session of genius’ (Broadway Baby) ‘The power of a show delivered simply but with utter conviction cannot be understated. Likeable and charming, Jan van den Berg manages to capture the significance, enormity and relevance of his subject in an easily accessible way.’ (Edinburgh Spotlight) Higgs is a lecture performance about the many year’s hunt for a particle known as Higgs. A theatrical voyage of discovery with exclusive background stories, unique film footage and live discussions with experts. For seven whole years, Jan van den Berg kept a close track on the hunt for the legendary Higgs particle. As a theatre maker and filmmaker, and also as a person versed in the arts. A man of the arts in the wondrous world of physics! Van den Berg descended many times into CERN’s underground particle accelerator and asked dozens of Higgs hunters about their passion for the hunt – the hunt for that one needle in a million haystacks. A ‘needle’ which is often called the God particle. But why, actually? Van den Berg also became acquainted with Peter Higgs in person. The man after whom the particle is named. An extremely amiable man, it turned out, when he interviewed him for his documentary. A bond of friendship grew between the British scientist and the Dutch artist. On 30 June 2012, they were enjoying lunch together somewhere in Sicily when the telephone rang. Somebody from CERN was on the line: “I think we have it.” Would Professor Higgs please come to Geneva as soon as possible. Van den Berg immediately started editing the final version of his documentary film and then… creating his lecture performance. Jan van den Berg juggles with facts and fiction about the Mini Big Bang and tells about the comedy & tragedy of his subatomic love affair with The Higgs. Tekst and performance: Jan van den Berg; design: Hannie van den Bergh;
 direction: Dirk Groeneveld