Festival Of The Spoken Nerd

Review by Bernard O'Leary | 28 Aug 2013
  • Festival of Spoken Nerd

The geeks have inherited the earth and never before has there been a better time to do a show about physics and Excel. Festival of the Spoken Nerd, starring Helen Arney, Steve Mould and Matt Parker, fills this need beautifully in a show that's smart and funny.

One problem with nerdy comedy is that everyone is so clever these days that it's hard to produce pop science facts that not everyone is familiar with. The FOTSN team have neatly dodged this problem and found a set of curious scientific facts that are genuinely obscure. Mould, the physicist, has a problem involving beads which genuinely seems to be unexplained (but it looks hella cool in the live demonstration). It also proves the mindblowing fact that the colour purple doesn't actually exist, which must be a disappointment to Alice Walker. However, Parker, the mathemetician, easily wins at nerdiness by proving that the entire universe is one giant Excel spreadsheet. It is the least cool thing any human being has ever said, and his proof is awesome. Arney, representing for Team Physics, breaks up the flow with songs about synaesthesia and by actually shattering a glass with her voice.

FOTSN is a show that's been running for a while, and the team have wonderful chemistry (sorry). The perfect night out for Mythbusters fans, or Brainiac fans who are ready for some actual science.

Festival Of The Spoken Nerd, Assembly George Square, August 1-25, 6.10pm, £12/£10.50