Glastonbury Festival


Marcus regularly performs at the Glastonbury Festival in the Astrolabe Theatre including a new show he wrote called Death by Numbers.

26 - 28 June 2015, Glastonbury

In this interactive show Marcus embarked on a journey to use his tools of mathematics to try to cheat death and squeeze a few more years out of the grim reaper. In a series of experiments, games and challenges to the audience Marcus discovered how prime numbers are used by a species of cicada in North America to avoid predators, he showed how game theory can give you an edge if you find yourself fighting a duel, he revealed how the story that lemmings follow each other over cliffs in mass suicide pacts is a myth. The fate of the lemmings is actually in the hands of a mathematical formula. And if you’re playing dice with death then knowing your numbers will definitely give you an edge as Marcus explained in a massive game of Monopoly.

But maybe the only way to survive is to immortalize yourself mathematically. Ending with a mass game of rock-paper-scissors, Marcus gave the audience winner the chance to have a new mathematical object that he’d discovered named after them. Species die, stars blow up but mathematics lasts for ever. So perhaps maths is the best way to cheat death.

With a special appearance by Death brought to life by puppet maker Sorcha Cummins.