The geeks are coming out of the lab and into the spotlight. In a culture where we are becoming bored with vacuous c’lebs, and Professors Brian Cox and Peter Higgs generate the excitement and adulation previously reserved for rockstars, the time is right for the well-deserved success of the gleefully geeky Festival of the Spoken Nerd. This nerd-tastic trio are made up of stand-up Mathematician Matt Parker (now also known as Mr Professor Green), musically as well as scientifically talented Helen Arney, and Blue Peter’s go-to science guy Steve Mould, now of ‘the Mould Effect’.
Their latest Fringe show “Just for Graphs” combines their love for all things scientific with clever comedy. The audience is warned at the outset that this show contains “Frequent Strong Nerdity” and “Contains scenes of a graphic nature.” The Nerds make good on this promise in a show that, while celebrating the joy of Venn diagrams, remains first and foremost very, very funny.
Expect audience participation that is not quite like any other show in the fringe. Where else can you participate in the super-positioning of Mexican waves or become part of a human speaker cable? You could be forgiven for thinking this is a niche performance, but this is belied by the packed room and its appeal for the merely sci-curious. The genuine enthusiasm of the trio is impossible to resist, whatever your level of scientific knowledge. They banter back and forth in good natured fashion, and the whole event is a shared experience of gloriously geeky fun. “That pleases me so much“, laughs Steve at the oohs of the audience as they respond panto-like to a bar chart made of fire. Even the heckler was scientifically accurate at this smart and joyful show.
There are Euler Diagrams, some truly impressive on-stage calculations, flaming parabolas and of course Helen Arney’s signature songs on her ukulele, but most importantly a high incidence of laughter. Catch this show during its Fringe 2015 run to learn the similarity between apathy and the node of a standing wave, what Newton and Bryan May have in common, and why you should take a laptop into a labour suite.
Festival of the Spoken Nerd are just about to embark on a nationwide tour, so see this graph a minute comedy in Edinburgh, the undisputed capital of comedy, before the rest of the country.
Smart is the new sexy and yes, it really is hip to be square.
Festival of the Spoke Nerd “Just for Graphs” Assembly George Square Studio One 18.30 daily until the end of August