Festival of Science and Curiosity Review: Science Show Off at Rough Trade

Words: Adrian Shaw
Tuesday 27 February 2018
reading time: min, words

Our Adrian got down for a nerdy laugh at Nottingham’s Rough Trade as he checked out Science Show Off as part of the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity…


Who says science and humour don’t go together? Joining other nerdish types, I was as entertained as I have ever been at this stand-up comedy night at Rough Trade, a cool place to hang out whether you were a scientist or not.

Hosted by geeky comedian Steve Cross - the coolest comedian-scientist you could ever hope to encounter - the event was a chance for his fellow travellers to perform their best stuff. The comedy ranged from hilarious terms in science books and journals to a tale of a particularly anxious parent; one who only stopped themselves from going mad when their offspring announced they were going into comedy because they were also ‘doing Science’... which meant that they would be likely to be employable, eventually.  

As far as Steve was concerned, most of the audience were worthy to be present, as a surprising number exhibited the characteristic of true science-nerds; glasses, inhalers, science degrees, etc.. I certainly fit this category! It was a great warm-up technique for the Science-Humour field.

The evening was divided into two segments; comedians who were either students, or university researchers and lecturers - who all happened to be extremely funny, or at least very brave! Two of the audience were also the latter, and they agreed to go on-stage to assist as competitors when the audience was split into two teams for a science-quizz. Prizes were awarded for both winners and losers - a carton of a chocolate product – but stamped on by Steve before presentation if you were the loser.

Biology was especially big on the night’s performance, as represented by jokes that also happened to sexual in the vernacular. Certainly, it seemed, having a dirty-mind was an added advantage in terms of employability as a comic-scientist… Terms like ‘jizz’ were both grossly comical and technical, along with many others, all presented for our delectable entertainment.

Other local acts, which were received rapturously, included maths-based humour, while even the acronym ‘FOSAC’ was made ‘out of contextually’ hilarious.

Heard the one about the Scientist and the Fruit-Fly? But that’s been done!

Science Show off took place at Rough Trade on Tuesday 20 February 2018, as part of the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity.

Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity website

Science Show Off website

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