The new tour of FOTSN kicked off at The Bloomsbury Theatre this weekend, with more science, fire and Excel spreadsheets than ever before. A show for the “insatiably sci-curious”, I went along to cram my brain with new stuff and have a laugh.

Festival of the Spoken Nerd is a science/comedy group from London, with experiments guy Steve Mould, geek songstress Helen Arney and stand-up mathematician, Matt Parker. They’ve been going for a few years now, with touring being a relatively new thing to the group. Originally a monthly show, FOTSN has grown, showing at Edinburgh Fringe, science festivals around the country and The End of the World Show with Prof. Brian Cox and Robin Ince.

FOTSN: Steve Mould, Matt Parker and Helen Arney. Photo by Idil Sukan/Draw HQ

FOTSN: Steve Mould, Matt Parker and Helen Arney. Photo by Idil Sukan/Draw HQ

I’ve been going to the shows for a few years now and even if some of the content is occasionally repeated, FOTSN always manage to take it one step further and expand on it in a way you weren’t expecting! This tour has a new set design, bigger props and live stage text. It has a much more professional feel, but still has the right amount of fun, danger and tech fails as before.

Steve showed us how to make a fire tornado with a mesh bin and some lighter fluid, electrocuted a pickle and did some crazy thing with a beaker of beads (see it on his YouTube channel here). Helen sung her classic You & Me & Walt Disney and taught us about resonant frequency by smashing a glass with her voice, live onstage. OSSUM. Matt exceled himself (literally) with his talks about how everything is made from Excel spreadsheets, and how they can be hours of endless fun, not just for office use. Confused? Click here and you’ll see what I mean. A photo of Matt making a spreadsheet of himself making a spreadsheet? WHAA?

The finale of the show is one of the greatest show finales ever. Not giving too much away, it involves a ‘Nerd Anthem’ from Helen, with the ever popular overhead projector, beads and “o3h” from the audience. Seriously, go see this FOTSN finale- we were in stitches the whole way through. Dates for the Festival of the Spoken Nerd tour can be found here, where you can also subscribe to the mailing list, buy great merch and listen to podcasts from previous shows.

★★★★-Festival of the Spoken Nerd is gloriously nerdy, where maths and science is made stupidly fun. Go see it.

Source: Festival of the Spoken Nerd
Reporter: Jess Hawke

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