Books Showoff 4 – August 24th, Waterstones TCR

Books Showoff’s first run in the basement of the fancy new Waterstones on Tottenham Court Road was a bestseller so now we’re back for chapter two: more shows!


Join comedian Steve Cross and eight wonderful people who write books, read books, love them, collect them, or sometimes just visit their local Waterstones because they really like the smell (not mentioning any names).

Affectionately known as London’s first chaotic open-mic night about books, Books Showoff is unapologetically raucous, irreverent, and hysterical.

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start. There’s a lovely bar with amazing cocktails, reasonably priced wine, and a lift down to the basement.


The show’s speakers include:

Sarah Elizabeth Cox on her dominatrix ex-therapist and why she (Sarah, not the dominatrix) keeps a Joan Collins book by her bed.
Gregory Akerman – Gregory’s favourite book is a children’s book – Monsterman by Duncan and Jim Eldridge. Learn how this simple tale of skepticism led Gregory to hate Rick Wakeman & have confusing feelings for David Icke (because of course Gregory is going to talk about Icke).
Anil Godi – Poet Anil Godi looks at H.P. Lovecraft’s less well-known catalogue of poetry to see what interesting additions to his legacy can be fished out of the murky confluence of poetic form, an overfondness for Classics and cosmic horror.

Rob Davis – Rob Davis, founder of game studio Playniac, will be running his award-winning, globe-trotting crowd game Cat On Yer Head, now available as an illustrated book.

Cian Agnew asks: What clues do Donald Trump’s books give us about his Presidency?

Belle Taylor – Belle’s doing a semi-improvised talk on The Dice Man, based on the throw of a dice.

Plus more from Rebecca Rideal and Nick Coveney

Tickets are just £5 and available now from the Waterstones website.

SCIENCE SHOWOFF presents ANIMAL SHOWOFF, July 19th, Star of Kings


Chaos + science + comedy + conservation + an animal that looks like an armadillo being as cute as hell = Pangolin Conservation at Science Showoff.


This is a dead pangolin ie what we’re trying to avoid.

Join nerd celebrity and comedian Steve Cross, and a cast of animal experts hand-picked by London Zoo’s Kelly-Anne Kelleher for a night of learning and laughter, with all the ticket money going towards keeping a few more weird scaly mammals alive.

Tonight you’ll see these folk talking about their favourite animals:

Terri Hill – Wild Equid specialist, the luckiest girl in the world, or otherwise known as “zebra girl” and I keep zebras in my garden!

Nicky Plaskitt – Birds, birds, birds!

Andy Davison – Okapi

Lucy Hawley – Seahorses

Olivia Neville – The Great Pangolin Quiz

Catherine Cheyne – Eternal Oblivion: The Aye Aye’s have it

Mark Habben

Adam Hemsley

The gig is at the Star of Kings on July 19th, with doors opening at 7pm. Tickets cost £6 which will all go to Kelly’s chosen pangolin conservation charity They’re available HERE. If we don’t sell out in advance, tickets on the door will be £8.


BOOKS SHOWOFF 3 – July 21st, Waterstones TCR

The third installment of a new series of collaborations between Waterstones and comedian Steve Cross sees eight of London’s sparkiest readers take to the stage to share their passion (or intense critical appreciation) for books.
Affectionately known as London’s first chaotic open-mic night about books, Books Showoff is unapologetically raucous, irreverent, and hysterical.

Steve Cross – Our MC and currently reading a book about the zoology of termites, written by a man who didn’t know any zoology. And happy about this.

Joey Connolly – I’ll be talking about a spreadsheet I made. It’s a spreadsheet of all the books I’ve read since I stopped reading books which were mostly pictures. It’s got data on everything from genre to gender to grandness and outwards to almost everything there is about a book. It’s got graphs. It’s got serious graphs. It’s an act of perhaps unparalleled alphanumeric nerdery. What kind of extravagantly self-interested mind would make such a thing? Find out on the 21st of July.

Keith Kahn-Harris – ‘The books I will never write’; My ‘Impossible Books’ project.

Rachel Wheeley – Rachel Wheeley takes an appreciative look at the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Why science fiction is fascinating and whether H2G2 could have been the text of a Scientology style religion, if only its readers had less sense.

Sarah Bennetto – The aussie comedian and storyteller will take us deep inside her favourite book, and reveal the mess inside in a way that only she can.

Sean Smith – “Your mind, my thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters.”  Bring your favourite book, and mindreader and magician Sean Smith will tell you what it reveals about you.

Joel Blackledge – Joel Blackledge is a writer, filmmaker and middlebrow enthusiast. He’ll be talking about Love & Rockets, a comic book series that is slightly older than him and considerably more successful.

Micheal Eades – Michael  will be talking about his secret life as a Surrealist book collector.

Richard Duguid – Richard has worked at Penguin Books for nearly 30 years, doing fundamentally the same job. His late father also did that job at Penguin, for 32 years. His son is at university studying chemistry.

The gig is in the basement of the cool new Waterstones on the south end of Tottenham Court Road (it’s in one of the units that used to be big flash electronics shops) on Thursday July 21st. Doors open 7pm. There is a lovely bar (yay!) and a lift down to the basement.

Tickets are £5 from HERE

JULY 6th – NEVER EXPLAIN recording plus Samantha Baines Edinburgh preview


Join the Science Showoff team for a special recording of Never Explain, the comedy science panel show that elevates swearing and fighting above facts and explanation. Then in the second half enjoy a special preview of Samantha Baines‘ space-themed Edinburgh show, 1 Woman, A Dwarf Planet and 2 Cox.

Never Explain stars Steve Cross, Lydia Nicholas, Brian Mackenwells, Robin Andrews and Bhavani Espathi.

The gig is at the Star of Kings in the basement. Doors open at 7pm, with the show starting at 7.30. Tickets are £6 from

You can get previous episodes of Never Explain from these links:

SCIENCE SHOWOFF Croydon Comedy Festival, June 23rd

Join us for a special gig in the crown of Surrey, as Science Showoff comes to Croydon for the Croydon Comedy Festival.


Tonight’s acts are:

Steve Cross – science comedian, nerd and troublemaker
Florence Schechter – science YouTube star
Gregory Akerman – comedian, geek and worrier about the endtimes
Sophie Meekings – neuroscientist, language expert and whittlerJamie Upton – science writer, performer and storyteller

The gig’s at The Gold Coast at 7.30pm on the 23rd June. Full details, including how to buy tickets, are here.

BOOKS SHOWOFF 2 – June 24th, Waterstones TCR, London


The second of a series of literary collaborations between a bookshop with a cool cocktail bar and a man who makes nerds funny for a living is here!

Kerry 1

We bring together readers, writers, publishers, comedians, librarians and booksellers to entertain you by talking about all the words they’ve been stuffing into their huge brains. Tonight you’ll see:

Steve Cross – Your MC tonight is a comedian who was put off books as a science student when he realised that some of them cost more than anything he had ever owned in his life.

Catherine Fletcher – Catherine writes history books. She would like to know why so many history readers are obsessed with the Nazis.

Ed Jefferson – I will be exploring the complete literary canon of ‘books about Nicolas Cage’.

Stephen Thomas – Stephen  is the founder of Folkroom Records, where musicians go to be discovered by much more famous, well-financed records labels. He’ll be looking into a collection of love letters from fans to their 1970s idols. Barry Manilow features heavily.

Robin Bray – I’ll be talking about re-building a library after the apocalypse, starting with goats and geese – a practical description of setting about making books from available raw materials.

Sophie Scott – set details tbc

Ali Mozzafari – How can you teach theoretical physics to your dog?

The gig is in the basement of the cool new Waterstones on the south end of Tottenham Court Road (it’s in one of the units that used to be big flash electronics shops) on Friday June 24th. Doors open 7pm. There is a lovely bar (yay!) and a lift down to the basement.

Tickets are £5 from here.

SCIENCE SHOWOFF 5.8, June 21st, Star of Kings

There’s only one place where new science talent and ageing science hacks can come together and create a night of chaos. And that’s right here. Join us for an evening of looking at science from weird angles and going “OK BUT WHAT IS IT?”


From our May gig – an improvised birdsong competition

Tonight you’ll see:

Steve Cross – With two weeks to recover from his first solo hour (SO TIRING!) our MC is back with new ways of being annoyed with science.

Ali Mozzafari – Bubble science, a wonderful take on how, where and why bubbles form, from the beginnings of the universe to your back garden…

Sarah Barnes – What’s the worst that could happen? Sarah is a physicist and full-time worrier and will attempt to find out if it really is as bad as you think.

Robin Andrews – I’ll be talking about psychopaths: these poor, misunderstood creatures can actually have a hugely positive impact on society, and not all of them are naughty homicidal lunatics. I should know – I’m one of them, according to science! (Editor’s note – did we all guess that?)

Charlotte Mykura – A molecular biologist tries to talk about those big lumps of cells. You know the ones… They’re called… um… Animals, I think?

Bryony Frost – I’ll be talking through the history of the entire universe in 9 minutes – using LEGO.

Samantha Baines – Samantha hasn’t been to space, but would like to. Can you help?

Matt Jones – I am a third year PhD student in microbiology. Everything has gone wrong, there’s no point anymore, so why are you even asking? This is a desperate attempt at self-therapy.

The gig is at the Star of Kings on June 21st, with door sopening at 7pm. Tickets cost £6 which will all go to the charity Contact the Elderly They’re available here If we don’t sell out in advance, tickets on the door will be £8.