An Evening of Unnecessary Detail is, in short, an event where 80% of the words in the title start with a vowel. Of the 16 unique letters in the title, 31.25% of them are used more than once. If you are not enjoying this level of detail, it’s unlikely that you will enjoy the show.
An Evening of Unnecessary Detail is, in short, an event where we ask enthusiasts, scientists, miscellaneous experts* and comedians to talk about whatever they want. By attending this event, you revoke all rights to complain about the level of detail they choose to do so in.
An Evening of Unnecessary Detail is, in short, an event hosted by some or all of Festival of the Spoken Nerd: Matt Parker, Steve Mould and Helen Arney. Each of them have 10 letters in their names. Each show will be 10,800 seconds long.
*actual experts in miscellany
This is a theatre event for an adult audience, where the speakers and audience are together in our Theatre.
This event will not be livestreamed.
By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and accept the Ri's event terms and conditions. You also agree to abide by our code of conduct, and help to create a great experience for yourself and your fellow participants.
Doors to the theatre will open at 6.30pm. The event will run from 7.00pm until 10pm.
The bar will be open before the show from 6pm and will close after the show finishes at 10.30pm. There will be an interval during the show, during which the bar will also be open.
About the acts
Matt Parker is a stand-up comedian, #1-best-selling maths author and person who makes videos for the internet. His second book, Humble Pi, topped the Sunday Times bestseller list – the first ever maths book to do this. Matt is also one-third of Festival of the Spoken Nerd and a regular on BBC Radio 4. But he’s probably most famous as a YouTuber; his channel Stand-up Maths has over six subscribers and his videos have had literally dozens of views.
Writer, science presenter, geek songstress and ‘Voice of an Angle’ Helen Arney has appeared on TV, Radio and in theatres across the world with her unique mix of stand-up, songs and science. You might have seen her explaining physics while riding a rollercoaster for BBC2 Coast, electrifying Sandi Toksvig on QI, singing the periodic table on Channel 4, smashing a wine glass with the power of her voice live on Blue Peter, hosting ‘Outrageous Acts Of Science’ on Discovery Channel, or touring with science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd.
Steve Mould is a science expert and comedian. He has a YouTube channel with more than 2,000,000 subscribers, and his videos regularly achieve hits in the hundreds of thousands. One of these videos (about “self-siphoning beads”) went viral worldwide, gaining nearly 2 million hits and being mentioned in The New York Times and on the BBC. Scientists later discovered why the beads performed in the mysterious way they did and dubbed it “The Mould Effect.” Steve also hosts a radio show on BBC Radio 4 and is part of the live comedy/science trio Festival of the Spoken Nerd.
Rob Eastaway is a speaker and author whose books on everyday maths include the bestselling Why Do Buses Come In Threes? and Maths on the Back of an Envelope. He is the puzzle adviser to New Scientist magazine, and often appears on BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live to talk about the maths of everyday life.
Dr Yolanda Ohene is a neuroimaging scientist and a speaker who loves talking about the ways maths can help us to understand the human body. She works at The University of Manchester developing techniques to spot diseases in the brain. She has spoken on BBC Tomorrow’s World Live and at some of the biggest UK science events including The British Science Festival, New Scientist Live! and Cheltenham Science Festival. In her spare time, Yolanda enjoys taking photos and painting…(by numbers, of course!).
Colin Wright graduated in Pure Mathematics at Monash University, Melbourne, and went on to get a PhD at Cambridge. While there he learned how to fire-breathe, unicycle, and juggle. These days he is director of a company that specialises in software for marine radar, but is spending more and more time to give talks all over the world, focusing on how maths emerges from, and can be found in, the most unexpected places. He has given talks and workshops in over 20 countries, and appeared on radio and television.
Dr Tom Crawford is a maths tutor at the University of Oxford with a mission to share his love of maths with the world through his award-winning website tomrocksmaths.com. Whether he’s performing live as the ‘Naked Mathematician’ with Equations Stripped, telling you about his favourite equations on Numberphile, or getting another maths tattoo (12 and counting), it’s safe to say Tom is always finding new ways to misbehave with numbers.
Zoe Griffiths is a mathematician who travels the UK and internationally giving talks and workshops in schools, at science festivals, teacher conferences and at comedy nights. Zoe has talked about maths in places ranging from the Cheltenham Science Festival to BBC Radio 4. Before entering the world of maths communication, Zoe worked as a classroom maths teacher and is still a teacher at heart.
Australian-born Bec Hill is an award-winning comedy performer and sought-after television writer. She writes and hosts her own family-friendly CITV series "Makeaway Takeaway", and is the creator and author of Hachette’s new collection of creep-tastic books called “Horror Heights”. Bec has appeared on multiple comedy and panel shows, including “8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown”, “The Jonathan Ross Show”, “Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club”, and every season of “The Dog Ate My Homework”. When she isn’t performing, writing, or going viral for her paper-puppetry, she co-hosts the podcast “A Problem Squared” with mathematician and YouTuber, Matt Parker. She loves sci-fi, is the self-proclaimed Tooth Fairy for Adults, and owns a dwarf hamster called Pudding
The Theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.
The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.
There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.
Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be more than happy to help.
Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing email@example.com.
Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop.
In line with government guidance, face masks are no longer mandatory and wearing one in our Theatre and at Ri events is at your discretion. Please do continue to observe other Covid-secure measures, such as maintaining a social distance, wherever possible.
Please do not attend the Ri if you are displaying Covid-symptoms and/or are still returning a positive test.
Thank you for respecting other people and their choices, and for helping us keep all of our visitors and staff safe and well.
Event terms and conditions
Online booking for Royal Institution events is run by a third-party service, Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.co.uk).
View the full Eventbrite terms of service (www.eventbrite.com/tos)
Errors made by you when entering your data, are your responsibility and the Royal Institution will not be held responsible for any inconvenience caused by the supply of incorrect personal information, nor will we offer refunds on any accidental purchases made. It is your responsibility to check that the tickets issued to you are accurate.
The Royal Institution occasionally runs events in partnership with other organisations, learned societies and charities. In this instance we reserve the right to share your contact details with these third parties, solely for the purpose of providing you with information relating to that event.
Refunds and exchanging tickets
The Royal Institution will only guarantee a refund if the event is cancelled by us. Our liability in this case will be limited to the face value of your tickets.
If you wish to cancel your booking, you must let us know 24 hours before the start of the event.
The Royal Institution may allow users to request ticket refunds on online ticket purchases through Eventbrite at our discretion.
To request a refund, users must log into their personal Eventbrite account.
If you have purchased tickets by phone and wish to cancel your booking, you must call us at least one working day prior to the start of the event. To request a refund, please phone 020 7409 2992 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free tickets may be released at any time by the user at no charge.
Science Short Courses
For Science Short Courses, attendees may request a refund up to 7 days before the start of the course. After this point, a refund cannot be offered.
You must ensure that you book only the tickets for which you are eligible based on your level of membership at the time of the event. The Royal Institution reserves the right to cancel your ticket if member ticket eligibility criteria are not met.
Concession tickets are available for the following groups:
- Aged 66 or over
- Aged 16 or under
- Full-time students
- Anyone in receipt of Universal Credit
All children aged 4 and above need a ticket to attent events at the Ri.
For online payments processed through Eventbrite payments may be made using American Express, MasterCard, Visa, or Visa Debit.
Payments made by phone are processed by a secure Tier 1 DSS compliant payment processor. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Visa Delta, Maestro and American Express. We cannot accept Solo, Visa Electron or Diners cards.
Bookings on behalf of a party of people
If you are booking on behalf of a party, you accept these terms and conditions on behalf of all members of your party and are responsible for all payments due from the party.
Unless specified, our public events are suitable for ages 15 and above. However for most events, younger children are more than welcome to attend with parental permission.
Children aged under 13 years must be with accompanying adult. If you are unsure of the suitability of an event for a young person, please contact the Public Programme team at email@example.com.
Freedom of speech
The Royal Institution is a forum for the free and open discussion of ideas, and we recognise the fundamental importance of freedom of speech within the law. All speakers who contribute to any of our programmes represent their own views and do not necessarily represent the views of the Royal Institution.
Before the event
To gain access to our online events, you will need to book a ticket through our Website. The ‘Book Tickets’ button will take you to the Eventbrite page for the same event. Our prices range from £3 for Ri Members or Ri Patrons, to £20.
If you are a Ri Member or Ri Patron, and want to choose a higher priced ticket, you are free to do so.
Once you have purchased your ticket, you will get an email confirmation from Eventbrite.
There will be two reminder emails sent out. One 2 hours before the event takes place and one 10 minutes before the event takes place. These will have an option to log in through Eventbrite to watch the event, or use the direct webpage link.
During the event
We aim to go live 5 minutes before the event begins.
If you have a blank screen or no sound, please refresh the page. Sometimes for the sound, you will need to actively unmute the video by pressing the volume icon on the video itself.
If you’re still having issues at the start time of the event, you can either:
Contact us through the chat box on the webpage
Email us through Eventbrite
Email us directly through firstname.lastname@example.org
There are some occasions where technology works against us, and we will have to postpone the event. We will notify you:
Via the chat box. The host will keep you updated between 5 mins before the start and the cut off time of 15 minutes after the start.
Via email. This may be slightly more delayed response but the host will answer you there.
Finally, via Eventbrite email. This will go to all audience members and will be sent if the event is being postponed.
After the event
Ticket holders will be able to rewatch the recording of the event for two weeks after the event takes place. A reminder of this will be sent out via Eventbrite email the day after the event.
We try to upload our events to our YouTube channel within a couple months’ time. Here, it is free for everyone to view.
Find out more
Read all our livestream FAQs here.
Refunds and exchanging tickets
The Royal Institution will only guarantee a refund if the event is cancelled by us. Our liability in this case will be limited to the face value of your tickets. If you have purchased tickets by phone and wish to cancel your booking, please phone 020 7409 2992 or email email@example.com. If you have purchased tickets via Eventbrite and wish to cancel your booking you will need to log into your personal Eventbrite account. You may only request a refund if you have cancelled your ticket at least two weeks (14 days) prior to the workshop start date. After this date, a refund may be possible, but only if there is someone on the waiting list who can take your place.
Summer School workshops are very strictly for students within the age criteria advertised for each event. We are unable to accept bookings for students outside these ages and any bookings made for students who are not of the correct age at the time of the workshop will be cancelled. This is to make sure students attending can get the most out of their experience.
Workshops which run from 11am to 3pm include a lunch break and students must bring a packed lunch and a drink. For ages 16–18, students will be allowed the leave the building during this break. For ages 13–15, only when permission has been given at the time of booking will students be allowed to leave unattended. For ages 7–9 and 10–12, students will be fully supervised and only allowed to leave the building with their responsible adult.
If students have any allergies, medical conditions or access requirements please inform us of these at the time of booking, so we have time to make any adjustments required. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attending Ri events
The Royal Institution reserves the right to make any alterations to speakers, event content, event timing and/or event venue, and will make reasonable efforts to contact audience members to inform them of any changes. The Royal Institution will not be held liable for any changes made to the advertised event.
Right to refuse and search
The Royal Institution reserves the right to refuse you admission if, in its reasonable opinion, your admission to the venue might:
- Be a risk to the safety of the audience and/or yourself, and/or
- Affect the enjoyment of members of the audience, and/or
- Affect the running of the event
For example, if you act aggressively and/or appear to be under the influence of drink and/or drugs, you will be refused admission. We may also request you to leave (taking any such appropriate action that may be necessary to enforce this right) before or during events for any of the reasons given above. Should you be refused admission or requested to leave you will not be entitled to a refund. The Royal Institution may also, on certain occasions, have to conduct security searches to ensure your safety.
All children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult while in the theatre. The Royal Institution reserves the right to refuse admission to an unaccompanied child under the age of 13.
All children aged 4 and above need a ticket to attent events at the Ri.
The Royal Institution will, in most cases, be able to seat you if you arrive late to an event. However, we reserve the right to refuse you admission if you do not arrive by the start of the event. We also reserve the right to re-sell your ticket if you have not arrived by the start of the event. In the event of this occurring, we will endeavour to find you a seat or standing room, but this cannot be guaranteed.
For a copy of the risk assessment prepared for schools attending Royal Institution events, please email email@example.com
Filming and recording
By attending a Royal Institution event, audience members consent to being filmed, livestreamed, recorded and photographed. Audience members grant the Royal Institution the right to use recordings of any type made of their attendance in any and all media, and by means of publicity and promotion relating to the Royal Institution. School parties should ensure that appropriate parental permission is obtained before attendance at any Royal Institution event.
The unauthorised use of photographic, sound or film equipment in the venue is strictly prohibited. If you wish to use this equipment, please contact the Events Team prior to the start of the event. The copyright is assigned to the Ri for any recordings of events produced by the Ri. Unauthorised recording may result in content being destroyed, and your removal from the event without a ticket refund.
All electronic equipment, especially mobile phones, must be set to silent before entering the Theatre and/or any other spaces where events are taking place.
The Royal Institution operates a non-smoking policy throughout its entire building.
Events that supersede these terms and conditions
Some special events, for example the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, have Terms and Conditions for booking and attendance that supersede the ones given here. In those cases we will inform you of the new Terms and Conditions on booking.