The Inventor of All Things is a huge departure for Fringe regular, Jem Rolls.

Having seen Rolls perform his poetry at previous fringes, it was somewhat of a surprise he has taken on a debate/lecture of sorts.

In The Inventor of All Things, Rolls tells the story of Leo Szilard, the Hungarian physicist who escaped Nazi Germany, eventually finding himself in the United States, where he helped to create atomic energy, ultimately leading to the creation of the atomic bomb.

This hour long show is dense. So dense with information it is at times difficult to keep up with Rolls, who is so animated throughout the show he is drenched in sweat by its end. It felt at times as if he were attempting to physically force the story and opinions into our minds with the aggressiveness of his delivery; there is little subtlety.

With Rolls’ accent, I couldn’t help but compare The Inventor of All Things to a segment on HBO’s Last Week Tonight. What was missing though was John Oliver’s understated delivery, and the necessary visuals to help.

2 Out of 5 Stars

The Inventor of All Things continues at Carousel Theatre (1411 Cartwright St, Granville Island) until September 16 as part of the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit for tickets and information.