The Cosmic Shambles crew are a motley bunch of comics, scientists and mathematicians who want to make you laugh, and make you think. Cosmic Shambles is Robin Ince (host of The Infinite Monkey Cage) and comedian Josie Long with Solar physicist Lucie Green and mathematician Matt Parker. They’re currently in Australia for a short tour.
Why comedy about science? “Well”, says Robin Ince, “for me it gives me more to talk about. If I do relationship comedy, that’s finite, whereas if I do the whole universe and all possibilities, then you’ve got more to write about.”
“That’s true,” adds Josie Long, “and you don’t have to sabotage your personal life to talk about science on stage!”
“Science is semi-sexy these days,” says Matt Parker, “but maths still lags in the PR stakes, so I like to try and get people excited about mathematics and remind them it’s not just the tedious stuff they did at school.”
“I think science has always been sexy, when did we not have astronomy and science on the TV?” adds Lucie.
“Adventure botanists!” chimes in Josie “it’s one of my favourite thing from the 18th
century, people being like ‘I’m an adventurer’, what do you do? I collect plants!”
It’s this sense of adventure that Lucie wants to share, “that’s what’s great about being on stage, you can take that sense of adventure that we all feel, not just professional scientists and mathematicians, and take it to a much larger audience”.
It’s not without it’s challenges. A science joke, explains Matt, not only has to be funny, it also has to be accurate, otherwise people will bitterly complain. “If we’re not accurate, we get in trouble!” says Lucie.
The Cosmic Shambles tour starts in Sydney (28 March) before heading to Melbourne on 1 April, Perth on 13 April and then over the ditch for a NZ tour 4-13 April. Details at http://cosmicshambles.com/live/cosmicshambleslivetour
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