ComedyNorth WestReviewSpoken Word

Festival of the Spoken Nerd: You Can’t Polish a Nerd – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Matt Forrest

I’m sure somewhere in the bible it said that the geeks will inherit the earth, at least that’s what I thought my old Sunday school teacher told me. If that is to be the case then mathematician Matt Parker, master of experiments Steve Mould and singing ‘brainiac’ Helen Arney already have the keys to the kingdom and tonight the trio have invited us to celebrate all things geeky and nerdy with their new show You Can’t Polish a Nerd.

Part comedy show/part science lesson, we are taken on a journey through the minds of some genuine boffins as they answer some of your biggest science and mathematical conundrums: such as what will happen if you place a bar of soap in a microwave? Or can the theory of π help with making a pie pendulum? All stuff you shouldn’t try at home and now thankfully you don’t have to because this lot are doing it for you.

This was a fun evening out that had something for everyone: catchy musical ditties about bananas and the periodic table, engaging and mind blowing experiments, my favourite involving a shard of mirror, a laser and some banging tunes. The nice thing is a lot of these experiments could be tried at home: the equipment seemed rather inexpensive and attainable; you just need a scientific and creative mind to pull them off.

I must confess that some of the maths equations and theories did go over my head, however the trio soon brought it back around and kept proceedings fun so as not to alienate some of their audience members: as most of the audience members were in fact geeks as confirmed by several bar charts at the beginning of the show this really didn’t matter to much. At times the pacing seemed a little off with some of the experiments/routines dragging and going on for longer than necessary.

As with most shows of this nature, you’re only as good as your audience: there was plenty of audience participation, and they certainly delivered with stories of couples getting married and having a DeLorean as their wedding car, or a lady who made bar charts with Smarties and ate them in colour order. This provided some genuinely funny moments.

Overall this was a good, entertaining show: it’s certainly clever, although not as funny as it thinks it is but it is still a good night out. You don’t have to be a nerd to enjoy it but it certainly would help.

Reviewed on 22 October 2017 | Image: Contributed

Festival of the Spoken Nerd, You Can’t Polish A Nerd, The Lowry, Quays Theatre, Matt Parker, Steve Mould, Helen Arney, Comedy, Science

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π= good fun

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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