Festival of the Spoken Nerd: Just for Graphs

Festival of the Spoken Nerd present a variety of comedy stylings on maths, physics, and all things ‘nerdy’. Hosts Helen Arney, Steve Mould and Matt Parker are all charming, talented and obviously very smart, and their show is a fantastic and funny celebration of their interests.

They are a trio of positive, enthusiastic, talented, and most importantly very funny people

Their admittedly cheesy subtitle, Just for Graphs, is a reference to the wide selection of visual comedy slideshows on offer. At one point, Matt Parker shows us how literally anything can be plotted onto what he informs us is not even technically a graph. Not only these, but all uses of the projector(s) in this show, are hilarious in the hands of the three hosts. Listening to Steve Mould wax lyrical on graphs and data collection, you can easily forget that this is ever considered to be a boring topic. In fact, due mainly to the experiments performed on stage, Festival of the Spoken Nerd has a feel of being what school science classes always had the potential to be, full of practical experimentation and the use of fire to illustrate absolutely everything: waves, bar charts, and sound waves all get the pyromaniac treatment, extracting genuine ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the entire audience.

The three amply demonstrate that you don’t need to be a ‘nerd’ to enjoy this show, or rather that anyone can be one. They explain any necessary information clearly and with a funny twist, and at no point do they allow each other to take themselves or the science too seriously, though you can see their love for their subjects very clearly. Matt Parker, for example, is visibly so genuinely excited about maths that it’s infectious. Likewise, their comedy is unmistakeable. Their response and reaction to technical problems at one point gave them the opportunity to show this, and they dealt with it in an entertaining way, going on to successfully create a human speaker cable out of the audience as intended. In the case of Arney particularly, her comedy songs, such as a fantastic and slightly melancholy lullaby to the Philae comet lander, demonstrate a talent that enhances the show.

Festival of the Spoken Nerd is a hit year after year, and it is easy to see why. They are a trio of positive, enthusiastic, talented, and most importantly very funny people, and their show is exciting, sweet, and gleeful.

Broadway Baby Radio interview with Helen Arney

Reviews by Laurie Kilmurry

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The Blurb

The science comedy phenomenon returns, and this time they're off the chart! Join stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, experiments maestro Steve Mould and geek songstress Helen Arney for graph-a-minute fun on an unprecedented linear scale. 2014's smash-hit Full Frontal Nerdity was 'great, funny, clever ... even the heckles at this terrific show are smart' **** (Scotsman). Available now on DVD and download. Watch this 'resplendently geeky trio' (Times) Excel themselves in a new show packed with explosive live experiments and statistically significant laughter. 'Nerd show to end all nerd shows' **** (List).