‘Everything is easier to explain if you use lots of fire.’ When you hear those words you know you are going to be in for a treat. Or scorched eyebrows, which is probably why the Festival of the Spoken Nerd is only on a short run (1-7th August).
An hour which can best be described by reminding everyone of that moment in school when your teacher would walk in with the safety goggles and a jar of something very hazardous that you knew was going to make a very loud bang. Now imagine the teacher has just ripped up the health and safety assessment. The show is presented by three comedians from various scientific backgrounds who proceed to use music, children’s costumes, explosions and wonderfully vintage overhead projectors to bring us all back to the classroom and remind us how fun science can be.
But this is certainly not a children’s show. The volume of innuendo, whether masked in mathematic equations or not, is high. Though inarguably informative, do not come to this show expecting dreariness - the comedy is fast-paced and cheeky. Indeed you get the distinct feeling that the show is unscripted, with the actors simply ribbing one another throughout their time on stage. This childish banter, combined with the fact that the comedians are so clearly having a lot of fun on stage, successfully pulls the audience down from any highbrow position. The show is immature, irreverent and a wonderfully imaginative way to present both comedy and science.
By the sheer nature of experiments things will change from night to night, and results cannot always be guaranteed, but this also means that the interactions between comedians and their audience are forced to stay fresh and that each night will offer something unique. Admittedly some of the more complex formula in the Mathematically Correct Love Song went over my head but the majority of the show is totally accessible to those with little scientific or mathematical grounding.
Make sure to check out this hour of silliness and science before the 7th when the run ends. As the comedians remark at the beginning of the show, anyone from Einstein to someone who just likes The Big Bang Theory is welcome in the Nerd World.