If you think Lady Nerd is about being geek chic, then forget it. This is not a show that sexes up spectacles by taking out the lenses and only wearing the frames, oh God no.
In her homage to nerds of the female variety, Keira Daley only wants to shout about the bits that still classify as ‘uncool’: actual glasses, bar charts, chess and the Big Bang Theory. Now, this is what I know about the Big Bang Theory (very little, I’ll warn those of you who possess a superior general knowledge in advance): something big and shiny exploded in space and all the little bits stuck together to make something special, but with its share of problems, The World.
Keira Daley has taken a similar approach in the creation of her brainchild Lady Nerd. She takes a sledgehammer to the course of woman’s history, smashes it to bits, handpicks the chapters that no one else bothered to read and meshes them together to make a show that’s too big to ignore.It’s hard to ignore a Lady Nerd in red who is as enthusiastic about her performance as she is about computer programming. Her love of all things nerd is genuine and infectious. She tells her meticulously researched stories of great and glorious Lady Nerds with absolute zeal.
Even geeks get it wrong sometimes and there are a few glitches here and there. The show is delivered with a keyboard and a smile and, as much as I appreciate the musical theatre parody, sometimes it’s a bit naff. Daley is funny but jokes fall flat and more obscure puns go unnoticed.
But Lady Nerd has created her show for a niche audience; an audience of nerds. She has not created it to educate the masses on the inner struggles of the intellectually gifted but socially challenged individuals who have spearheaded human civilisation. She wants to charm the pants off the people that she’s talking about and she will do so because the show is just downright clever.
My own eyes rolled practically on queue when the first chemistry inspired gag came along. ‘I’m too cool for this,’ I thought. This is, of course, a lie and my eyes had stopped rolling by the last number in favour of big bashful grins. You can’t help but like her. Daley is musical theatre’s answer to Lisa Simpson but she’s dropped the sax to start singing the blues of the Nerd: irresistible.