Geek Review: Festival Of The Spoken Nerd @ Bloomsbury Theatre

Festival of the Spoken Nerd is excited. This show at the Bloomsbury Theatre is the biggest they’ve done (so far) and to celebrate they’re doing things they wouldn’t normally be able to do in a room above a pub. Namely: they’re going to burn stuff.

The theme is “danger”, and combustion comes up again and again. Flash cotton is set on fire in an elaborate experiment involving parabolas, focal points and a heat lamp; sound waves control a tunnel of flame and an enormous tube of nitrous oxide is ignited by UCL chemistry professor Andrea Sella in a brilliant blue flash and spectacular barking sound. Comedian Kent Valentine continues the theme, but his tale of creating – and setting alight – eight litres of napalm under the family home is so familiar to all of us from our own school days that it’s almost passé… Wait, no, we mean horrifying and hilarious and must be heard to be believed.

Comedy nerd events are popular at the minute (Bright Club is back at the Bloomsbury next month, too) for which we all should thank Robin Ince. However, the FOTSN trio of Helen Arney, Matt Parker and Steve Mould possess such heart and sweetness that we instantly understand why they’ve been selling out their usual venue weeks in advance. How can you not love a show that features an interrobang within the first few minutes?

You can see this exact show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 2 February (they may just explode with joy) and there’s a whole brand new one at the Bloomsbury on 22 May. Let’s all go and set shit on fire, baby.

See Festival of the Spoken Nerd’s Dangerous show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 2 February, 7.30pm, £12, or new material at the Bloomsbury Theatre on 22 May, 7.30pm, £12 / £10. Check their website for their regular shows and appearances at various festivals. All photos by Isabelle Adam – see more on Flickr.

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