IS there life beyond our solar system? To seek communicable intelligent life, scientists must go back into the depths of development on our own planet.

It might sound heavy, but writer and performer Alexander Kelly weaves conversations with Dr Simon Goodwin into a comprehensive tapestry of his own unabashed fascination in Earth, its creatures and the universe beyond.

Kelly’s correspondence with Goodwin extends a decade, made clear as he switches between Goodwin’s voice and his own inserting “footnotes” which provide asides, personal experiences and witty remarks.

These conversations are framed by Kelly’s interest in the space probe Voyager 1, deliberately sent out with messages to be intercepted by alien life. Kelly presents Voyager 1 and the saga of its journey with such pathos and gentleness that the tale gives Wall.E a run for its money.

More uplifting stories are on offer, most notably how homo sapiens became the dominant human species on the planet. As far as science lectures go, Kelly packs in enough info to fill a textbook chapter- his storytelling is engaging enough to distract from the somewhat static set-up of the stage (a powerpoint provides visual aids and dynamism for anyone feeling fidgety).

Kelly has a wonderfully sense of familiarity both with his audience and his subject matter. There’s a meaty amount of astrophysics at the heart of 600 People, wrapped in conversational cellophane: nothing is dumbed down, but rather the manner of his presentation makes this show feel less like a lecture and more like a gift.