Tom Inniss Journalist and podcaster

Interview with Festival of the Spoken Nerd

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The Nerds are on tour, and I got to speak to them!

After seeing the premier show of their 3 month UK tour, I got the opportunity to speak to the trio who make up Festival of the Spoken Nerd. The whole interview was recorded, and I encourage you all to listen to it. Find out how at the bottom of the page!

In the green room of the Bloomsbury Theatre, a mere five hours before they were to perform in front of 500 people, Helen Arney, Matt Parker and Steve Mould seemed very excitable, perhaps still riding off the high of their hugely successful opening night, which I have reviewed here.

I had limited time with them, and a huge mental list of questions that I wanted to ask them about the touring process, how they started and what gigging is like, but somehow we were immediately sidetracked by Matt’s new purchase, an Aeropress coffee maker. Promising me the best cup of coffee I’ll have ever tasted, rather than getting to the meat of the interview, we all watched bemused as the device was contrasted and finally used. The coffee was indeed impressive, although the time to coffee ratio is questionable.

Partially back on track and we start to discuss their tour. 30 dates, 10,000 tickets, 3,000 sold and locations all over the UK. Helen appears to be the whip holder, constantly checking her phone to ensure their next meeting happens on time.

We talk about the process of performing, and how for a long time they played in venues slightly too small for the demand, as being ‘Sold Old’ generates a buzz and prestige about your show that is hard to gain otherwise. Only when necessary did they size up. Likewise, they held out to find a manager who understood the kind of show they were, science and comedy is not always the most understood.

Also discussed was Erdős-Bacon-Sabbath numbers, which are similar to six degrees of separation, only for the maths, acting and music worlds. Holders of the prestigious numbers include Brian Cox, Brian May, Buzz Aldrin and Natalie Portman.

FOTSN are incredibly funny people, and it was interesting to see how they interacted with one another when not on stage – surprisingly, there was very little difference, if not for a slightly more relaxed. They have many dates left on their tour at the time of writing, so if you are pi-curious or excited by spreadsheets, hop on over to their website to find out where they are playing.

How to listen to the interview

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About the author

Tom Inniss

Tom is a journalist and feature writer with interests in politics, technology and culture. He currently works as the editor of Voice - an online magazine for young people interested in art and culture.

Tom Inniss Journalist and podcaster

Tom Inniss

Tom is a journalist and feature writer with interests in politics, technology and culture. He currently works as the editor of Voice - an online magazine for young people interested in art and culture.

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