Michael’s comedy is rooted in his vast range of experiences and interests, from the mundane to the sublime to the ridiculous. One minute he’ll be moaning about a bank’s response to identity theft, the next he’ll be complaining about laser safety, before moving on to celebrating the physics involved in birds navigating using the Earth’s magnetic field. When he says he believes nearly everything can be a topic for comedy, it’s not an excuse to be offensive – he’s just pleased to have got a laugh from the Schrödinger Equation.
Michael currently runs The Variables, a Science Comedy Troupe based in Cambridge. As well as regularly performing sold-out shows across the city, they have also been booked to perform at the Cavendish Laboratory and Jesus College, as well as for the LifeLab event run by Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement.
Michael was part of the first year of the Science Showoff Talent Factory, a training scheme for the next generation of science communicators. He has performed science comedy in a range of venues: in pubs with Bright Club Cambridge and Science Showoff in London, at the Cambridge Science Centre, in a field at the EMF Camp Festival, and on stage in the Bloomsbury Theatre as part of Robin Ince’s Christmas Ghosts. He has also compered an evening about Earth Science for Pint of Science Cambridge, and talked about the physics of the navigation of birds at Animal Showoff in the Grant Museum.
As well as science comedy, Michael has performed at open mic nights, an improvised stand-up night, Books Showoff, and is a regular at “Stand Up for Towel Day”, a celebration of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Michael has a solid background in improvised comedy, being part of the Cambridge Impronauts (formerly Improvised Comedy Ents) for 10 years. During this time as well as performing he also directed and produced shows, as well as running some workshops for the group. He directed and produced the Impronauts’ successful 2011 Edinburgh Fringe show, “And the Award Goes To…” Although he is more likely to be seen with prepared material, he still makes use of his improv skills while acting as a compere.
While a student, Michael hosted a semi-improvised news-based comedy show, Burst the Bubble, and directed, produced and performed in an improvised panel game show, Panel to the People, on the radio station Cam FM. He also regularly hosted the breakfast show, alongside several other presenters.