Archive for Bright Club Wales

Fright Club

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 1, 2011 by telescoper

Regular readers of this blog (both of them) will know that a few months ago I tried my hand at stand-up comedy at the Second Bright Club Wales (see posts here and here). Last night I went along to the latest Bright Club show, number 4 of what I hope will be a long-running series. This time it was much more relaxing for me, as I didn’t have to “perform” and was therefore not only spared the nervous tension but also offered the potential of a bit of schadenfreude. Whether it was Hallowe’en horror or stage fright that caused the impromptu renaming of last night’s extravaganza “Fright Club”. As it turned out, all the acts were very good and the audience very friendly, so despite a few nerves nobody actually died…

I know one particular contributor, our own Ed Gomez (who also blogs),  was a bit apprehensive before the show, because he told me as much. But  he needn’t have worried, as his set turned out to be as hilarious as I thought it would. My only criticism is that I was a bit  disappointed with his use of foul language. There just wasn’t enough of it. Anyhow, Ed had the prescience to record his set so here it is in all its glory….

Kudos to all the contributors last night, and to the inestimable MC Dean Burnett for directing the traffic with such aplomb. It was great fun, and as a bonus it gave me an excuse to be out of the house when the trick-or-treaters came round!

A review of my attempt at stand-up

Posted in Books, Talks and Reviews with tags , on May 8, 2011 by telescoper

It seems my 12-minute stab at being a comedian at Bright Club Wales has led me to the dizzy heights of fame. So much so that I’ve even appeared in the latest issue of Cardiff University News (which you can read online here). Here’s the piece, though you might need to click on it to make it big enough to read..

Incidentally, the next Bright Club Wales will be on Monday 30th May, at the Buffalo Bar in Cardiff. I’m sure it will be fun!


Bright Club

Posted in Biographical, Books, Talks and Reviews, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on March 14, 2011 by telescoper

Hardly any time to breathe today, never mind post anything. Lectures, and exercise class and a meeting of the lost souls attempting to figure out what we should do to prefer for the Research Excellence Framework.

Now all that’s over I’m going to think about what I should do on stage this evening as I participate in the Second Bright Club Wales, at the Buffalo Bar in Cardiff City Centre. Apparently, this event “blends comedy, science, music and anything else that can happen on stage” which certainly leaves a lot to the imagination.

This evening is part of National Science and Engineering Week. In fact, there’s another event this evening in Cardiff tonight relating to this, comprising a public lecture at the School of Physics & Astronomy followed by an open evening allowing members of the public to use our telescopes. The weather has been lovely today, but clouds are starting to appear. I hope there’s enough clear sky to make it worthwhile.

I’m actually quite nervous about this Bright Club lark,  as I’m not at all sure what to expect, but apparently I’ll be on fairly early in the evening so with a bit of luck the room won’t be too rowdy and I might not get pelted with rotten tomatoes. I don’t really know to what extent I’m expected to play it for laughs either. I sometimes try to tell jokes in lectures, but they usually go down like  lead balloons, so perhaps I’ll just stick to some science and leave the funny stuff to the professional comedians. I’ve only got 8 minutes, but that’s plenty of time to make a fool of myself.

Between you and me, I have actually tried doing stand-up comedy once or twice. In fact, the most terrifying experience of my life was doing an open-mike spot at a Comedy Club in Cambridge Heath Road, when I lived in Bethnal Green. It’s one thing to try to be amusing in a pub or around the dinner table with friends, but quite another when you’re trying to make complete strangers laugh, especially when they’ve paid for it! Anyway, I survived my 3 minutes (just about) and even got a few laughs, but the experience didn’t make me want to quit my day job.

Anyway, I asked for an early shift so I could get home on time to deal with Columbo’s needs so I’ll update this post later on with a review of my performance. Or lack of it.

UPDATE: 10pm. Well, it turned out to be good fun. The audience was friendly and I got a few laughs. Although I didn’t really prepare very much materia,l and I was first one up so didn’t have a chance to see what went down well, I found it quite easy to make it up as I went along, given such a relaxed atmosphere. A couple of pints of Guinness probably helped too. Had to leave after the first half to see to Columbo, but I hope the rest of the evening went well.