Comedy DVD review: Festival of the Spoken Nerd – Full Frontal Nerdity
An amusing lecture from three nerds who know their stuff
If the geeks truly have inherited the earth, then a revenge of the nerds must be in full flow. As ever, science and mathematics are the forefront of this spec(s)tacular revolution with the subjects many hated at school now drawing in legions to sizeable theatres across the country. There, you will hear jokes about graphs, spreadsheets and toroidal vortexes (yes, we know you lot probably prefer ‘vortices’).
Festival of the Spoken Nerd comprise physics buff Helen Arney (the geek songstress and ‘voice of an angle’), Steve Mould (formerly of PowerPoint double act Mould and Arrowsmith and surely a big fan of setting stuff on fire as a kid) and Matt Parker (an antipodean with a huge crush on maths). Through songs, experiments and detailed analyses of Excel applications, pixels are counted, pickles are electrocuted and puns forced into tunes about, well, nerdy science. There won’t be many comedy stage shows this year which have the phrase ‘I’ve been foiled by a refracted index!’ yelled out in mock-despair.
More of an amusingly above-average lecture than a full-on comedy gig, each one takes their turn to hold court and avoid being teased (it would be wrong to suggest it’s anything remotely as savage as being heckled) by their techie-buddies. Never less than amiable, the trio merrily indulge in banter which gently undermines each other’s disciplines without ever getting close to mean-spirited; though you suspect a tiny bit of envy oozing from the others that there is actually a thing called the Mould Effect out there.
It’s perhaps telling that Parker makes a point of noting each time he cracks an actual joke as it merely highlights the fact that there aren’t as many killer gags in maths (sorry, mathematics) and science as some might lead you to believe.
Full Frontal Nerdity is out now on DVD; Just for Graphs, Festival of the Spoken Nerd’s new Fringe show, is at Assembly George Square, 623 3030, 8–30 Aug (not 17), 6.30pm, £10–£12 (£8.50–£10.50). Previews 5–7 Aug, £6.