Am I Science nerd? Not as such, but do I wish I was? Quite probably. Do I like a rhetorical question? It seems I might but who’s going to answer me when I’m literally writing this and relying on comments…well, that part is up to you but I do know one thing, this show is definitely something for the nerds and so, in that respect, does exactly what it says on the tin but is it worth exploring for everyone? Let’s look a little deeper…
Festival of the Spoken Nerd have been around before, in fact You Can’t Polish a Nerd is the third live science show following the successful Full Frontal Nerdity and Just for Graphs. However, this is my first introduction to the trio that lead the comedy/science exploration but, visually, meeting Matt Parker, Steve Mould and Helen Arney was very easy, I didn’t have to do anything, and they’re quite charming with their presentation style which is entertaining and easy to understand. So, whether you’re a newcomer or an old friend of the three, you’ll feel welcomed into their world.
Recorded live, the 107 minute show reacts and responds to their excitable audience, as well as using them as their own personal Guinea Pigs and useful conduits. Obviously, in the most responsible way. From experiments in microwaves, and how to film inside of one (in a sense), they also takes us through the creation of Spherical Cameras, visual representations of gravitational waves, Helen doing the full (and up-to-date) version of the Elements song, fun with lasers, and even a guide on how to create your own Pi-Endulum at home. I was also quite the fan of the ‘six times colder’ discussion, which has to be seen to be fully explained, and the answer ‘we’re all outside of an aeroplane now and it’s not that cold’ – Trust me, you have to watch to appreciate the moment.
While I do think You Can’t Polish a Nerd is for everybody, I’m not entirely sure everyone will get it because despite their hope that whoever watching will be absorbed by proceedings, it’s very geeky and nerdy indeed. If you’re a fan of the likes of Only Connect and University Challenge, and any type of Quiz or Science show, then this is definitely one for you or someone you know. It’ll also help if you’ve got a love for fun things, crazy experiments and some terribly (brilliant) puns and silly songs. These three are super smart, and this show is undoubtedly different, there’s nothing I’ve seen that’s quite like it… and we haven’t even got to the 5 hours of directors commentaries on each other’s directors commentaries. Brilliantly inventive and quite wonderfully mad.