Every word counts

Festival of the Spoken Nerd at Bloomsbury Theatre, London

By Peter J Pullan

This was a lot of fun. Advertised as being only suitable for ages 15+ as it contained strong language and spreadsheets, we had our 3 performers, Helen, Matt and Steve showing us the fun side of chemistry, physics and mathematics. There were an incredible number of nerds in the packed audience waving their smart phones around like Dame Edna Everage and her gladioli, and putting to shame pathetic people like me who admit defeat at the mere mention of the word ‘Android’.

There were lots of flashbacks for me of the science lab – the wonders of sodium, the beauty of colour physics and the marvel of the spreadsheet. This was a show in which you could revel in the fun of science in knocking paper cups of the heads of members of the audience using dry ice fired from a gun made from a waste bin, enjoy the sight of a pickle being electrocuted and see the incredible magic beads but also learn of the fascinating way in which the eye sees colour.

The speech-to-text was excellent in quickly making the rapid dialogue accessible to all and it was great to see how the cast had accepted the text as a valuable, additional feature of their show. They took trouble to explain what speech-to-text was all about and involve Orla, the speech-to-text reporter, in the fun of the evening as was evident in the song about synaesthesia. I loved the bit where Helen shattered a glass with her voice, but before doing so, we were told that this part of the show would be a boon to the deaf and hard of hearing audience, but the rest of the audience had to pop in their ear plugs!

It was that kind of crazy show – great fun! And a lovely theatre too.


The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council