SCIENCE SHOWOFF 6th September at the British Science Festival – LINEUP ANNOUNCED.


We’re coming back to Birmingham!

Do you like science? Do you like fun? Do you like to see people doing what they love and not worrying about whether it’s perfect? Our chaotic science cabaret is for you!

As part of the British Science Festival we’re rolling into town to host some of the best communicators of science the West Midlands has to offer, performing 9-minute sets about the things they love the most. Joining us for this amazing event will be:

Steve Cross – the Showoff MC bursts into a new season of gigs with loads of new science-y jokes and ridiculous adventures to talk about.

Toby Dignum – I’ll be doing a talk about my favourite number, the square root of two. It’s a story about a terrifying shape, Greek vegetarians, a murder, and my cat. WARNING: contains algebra!

Faraz Alam – The Funny side of the Flesh Eating Bacteria: Come with me on a voyage of discovery, to hear the many things I have learned through my research, such as the dangers of farting, when fellatio can turn dangerous and the strange things that can happen when you make bacteria glow in the dark.

Sarah Cosgriff – Are you a scientist who needs advice? Look no further – Sarah is an agony aunt for scientists.  She will be giving her straightforward advice, based on scientific research, to common problems she receives.

David Urry – Nothing explains the science of biological attraction better than country and western music, or the quirks of animal mating rituals like a low down and dirty blues lick – maybe! Either way, come listen to some toe tapping educational ‘classics’  like ‘Prairie Voles are Monogamous’ and ‘Dig a Hole Like a Mole Cricket’.

Francesca Day – Particle physics meets stand up comedy. We’re hunting for new particles, but what’s real and what’s just physics fan fiction?

Sarah Weldon – The Great British Viking Quest: Sunstones, Swords, and Science. In May 2015, Sarah will row the length of the River Thames, before heading out to sea along the same routes that the vikings rowed one thousand years ago. Did the vikings get seasick? How did they use a sunstone to navigate? Where did they find the metal to make their swords?

Jim Bell – Spider love or: how I learned to stop worrying and learned to love arachnids. A rationalisation of one man’s potentially unhealthy obsession with spiders.

Maia Elliott – Unhappy with the cards you were dealt at birth? Aren’t we all. But not for long! “Rigging the Genetic Lottery: A Beginner’s Guide” will show you how to overcome all your little DNA problems! It’s child’s play! (May require a complete change of lifestyle, cutting-edge DNA surgery and a massive lump of luck)

There’s a Facebook event here you can join and share with your friends:

And here’s where you can get tickets:

The gig is at the Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham. That’s here on Saturday September 6th. The gig is at 8.00pm sharp. Get there early!

Science Showoff at the Manchester Science Festival – SIGNUP TO PERFORM

Manchester is a really funny place. For a start they’re all obsessed with whinecore guitar-botherers My Chemical Romance. Secondly they have two football teams, BOTH OF THEM EVIL. Most big cities have one obviously good one and one evil one (Leeds only has an evil one, of course), but not Manchester.

But we love Manchester. It’s the best city in the UK on every scientific measure, and they’re brave enough to put us on at the weekend in a town that loves to party!

We’re coming back to MOSI, about to be under brilliant new management, for a night of scientific chaos and fun. Science Showoff is a night where ANYONE, can perform ANYTHING, in ANY STYLE, about ANY KIND OF SCIENCE. You might be a scientist, a teacher, a science communicator, a science fan, a comedian, an artist, a musician, a writer, a dancer, an actor, a raconteur or even Richard Dawkins himself (jokes, Dawkins is banned obvs) and we will give you time (9 minutes) on our stage to strut your stuff.

Now is your chance. Go to this website, put in your name and a short description of your set, click a box and YOU WILL BE PERFORMING.

The gig is Friday October 24th, and we’ll need you from about 6.30pm to about 10.00pm. Performers are not paid (not even the MC) as all ticket revenue will go to charity.

The gig will be hosted by Steve Cross. He is a nerd.



It’s the start of year 4!

After an August of sweet, sweet rest Science Showoff rises again. Like Godzilla after a nutritious breakfast of Frosties, orange juice and nuclear waste. Like a superhero killed off eight months ago in an attempt to get more coverage for comics in mainstream media. Like Jesus. We rise again.

2014-5 starts in Birmingham, for a gig with our good friends the British Science Association. This is our first time at the British Science Festival, but the second time we’ve been to Brum. Last time we played the amazing Birmingham Rep studio, with dancers, actors, storytellers, comedians and scientists on the bill.

The rules of Showoff remain the same: Anyone can sign up to do anything on stage about any kind of science. Your set has to be under 9 minutes in length and… that’s it. We’ll bring a compere who will keep you safe and we’ll sort out a really friendly crowd of only adults (so you can swear A LOT should the mood take you).

The link you need if you’d like to perform is here:

The gig is going to be at the Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham. That’s here on Saturday September 6th. We’ll need you from 7pm-10pm. No-one is getting paid (not even the organisers) in order to keep ticket costs down for the Birmingham science fans.

Sign up. Play the original science festival. Blow people’s minds.

Science Showoff Bristol 7, July 17th – LINEUP ANNOUNCED

Bristol. How are things? Enjoying the World Cup? Of course you’re not. You don’t really understand how football works, do you Bristol? And all the beer advertising must really drive you insane. Rugby and cider, eh? Rugby and cider are the big Bristol things. Well, rugby, cider and mucking about on stage talking about science, of course.

We’re bringing chaotic science cabaret to Bristol for the SEVENTH time in July, with a cracking lineup who will tell you stories, make jokes, do demos and generally bring science to life in fun ways.

And who is this lineup, I hear you ask? Well, they are:

Steve Cross – Science Showoff MC, glasses wearer and nerd.

Ceri-Wyn Thomas – I will be explaining how woodpeckers will prove to be the saviours of humanity, through the media of materials science and awesome 80s action-adventure shows. AWESOME!!!!!

Hannah Woolley – Ever had a hangover when you really didn’t deserve to? I’ll be looking at what makes some beers worse for hangovers than others.

Kevlin Henney – There will be beer. There will be pizza. There will be romance. There will be humour. And there will be quantum mechanics. I’ll be reading Schrödinger’s Pizza”, a lab lit tale that bridges postgrad–undergrad relationships, the art–science divide and the questionable entanglement of metaphor and vegetarian food.

 Aaron Boardley – Empathy, mockery, or basic psychology? I always seem to imitate the accents and intonations of anyone I spend more than five minutes with…but why? I’ll spend a few minutes exploring the reasons behind this funny little quirk, and may even provide answers. WARNING: may include bad impressions.

Ross Exton – Imagine a creature which can invade your body, take over your mind, and kill you just for the fun of it. You may even have one living inside you right now, without you even realising it. I’m going to be talking about the supervillains of the animal world: Parasites.

Ezzy Pearson – Could blowing up the Moon with giant robot spiders help save the world? I’ll be exploring whether space mining will become a reality in our lifetime and why we’re thinking of doing it.

Karl Byrne – set tbc.

JV Chamary – Fuck Pandas (and Screw Giraffes): This won’t be an incitement to bestiality, just an expletive-laden rant about biodiversity. I’ll show photos of cute animals and describe a new conservation strategy.

The gig is at the Grain Barge in Bristol on July 17th. Doors open at 7pm with the gig starting at 7.30. We should be done by 10 and there will be an intermission. The gig is FREE but we’ll be collecting on the door for CALM (who work to prevent suicide, the largest killer of men under 50 in the UK) and we suggest a donation of FIVE POUNDS, all of which will go to the charity.

See you there!

Science Showoff Bristol 7, July 17th – SIGNUP NOW TO PERFORM

Love Science?

Have something to say about it?

Looking for the nicest audience there is?

Based in the South-West?

I have news for you.

We’re coming back to Bristol for one of our bimonthly takeovers of the magnificent Grain Barge pub (it’s genuinely on a boat! It’s really exciting) for an evening of science-themed chaotic cabaret starring YOU.

Ten brilliant Bristolians (or those from nearby) are wanted to perform 9 minute sets of any kind about any sort of science. We welcome science presentations, demos, comedy, music, interpretive dance whatever you’ve got as long as it’s about science. This gig is perfect if you’re a scientist eager to get out more, a science teacher who wants to have an audience of adults for once, a musician or comedian with some experimental science material to try out or ANYONE.

Signup here to perform:  sets are up to 9 minutes long.

The gig is in the evening (we’ll need performers from 6.30ish to 10.00ish) with doors opening at 7.00pm.

Animal Showoff – July 8th, UCL Grant Museum


For this amazing new twist on the Showoff formula 10 incredible acts pick an animal each and show off as hard as they can about it. Expect science, jokes, music, stories and laughter as we get under the skin of ten different species with animal lovers from across the UK.


Steve Cross – science comedian and compere. Naked mole rat lover. Swan hater. Equivocal about voles.

Cat Rogers (opera singer) – The Woodbird

Rachel Jennings (Horniman Museum) – Pigeons

Gavin Broad (Natural History Museum) – Wasps

Theo Blossom (ZSL London Zoo) – Pangolins

Jack Ashby (UCL Grant Museum) – The Platypus

Chris Faulkes (Queen Mary University of London) – Naked Mole Rats

Naomi Webster (Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) – Ploughshare Tortoises

Sophie Meekings (UCL Insitute of Cognitive Neuroscience) – A gorilla

Elizabeth Dearnley (UCL School of European Languages, Culture and Society) – Wolves

Claire Asher (UCL dept of Genetics, Environment and Evolution) – Tardigrades

Doors for the gig will open at 19:00. Tickets are £6 (plus NO BOOKING FEE) from the eventbrite link at the top. All the ticket money will go towards conservation of the specimens of the amazing Grant Museum.


Science Showoff at the Royal Society – June 30th

I can’t think of anything more august than Science Showoff. There is nothing in the world of research more dripping with gravitas, seriousness and Establishment values than us. (SHHH!!!! THIS IS WHAT WE TOLD THEM! DON’T SPOIL IT!!).

We’re coming to the Royal Society again! On Monday 30th June they’re doing one of those super-fashionable Lates things called ‘Twilight Science’, and guess who will be hiding out the back misbehaving like CRAZY? YES!! IT’S US!!

So come and spend a boozy, funny evening with us in the club that runs UK science. We’ll be entertained by some amazing science communicators old (Steve) and new (everyone else) with a mixture of talks, jokes, music and whatever else they feel like. They are:

Dr Steve Cross – science comedian. Annoying.

Anna Ploszajski – UCL chemist/engineer

Dr Monika Bohm – Zoological Society of London animal expert

Dr Ross Williams – University of Lincoln molecular biologist

Soazig Clifton – NatCen social researcher

Rajiv Ramaswamy – UCL biomedical imager

Dr Audrey Nailor – Science Showoff Bristol team member

Dr Andy Holding – University of Cambridge biochemist

Rob Stanley – UCL biological modeller

Dr Kate Storrs – UCL teaching fellow in visual perception

Come and join us on June 30th at 7.30 (doors open 7.00) for an amazing evening. There will be a bar and it will be AMAZING. It’s FREE!!

Full details of Twilight Science are here: