I ran away from the circus to pursue stand-up and improvised comedy, and discovered a talent for compèring, provocative topical humour, and flying by the seat of my pants.
In 2010 my first 4 star Fringe show, Your Days Are Numbered - the maths of death, with stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, proved that there's a startlingly large audience for science-related comedy. We toured it in 2012 & took it to Australia for the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. You can see a short film we made at Worldbytes TV.
I occasionally front Science Burlesque, a cabaret night that takes the innocent joy of discovery at the heart of science & plies it with absinthe till it wakes in a stranger's bed.With Dr. Helen Pilcher I was among the first to test the hypothesis that science can be funny as half of the Comedy Research Project.
TV appearances include BBC 4’s panel show, Mind Games, being the Woman from the Future on Pulling Power, and wearing a furry cat costume in award-wining adverts for petfood. Ah… the glamour...
“science is now sexy... witty... and her comic timing is excellent”
“Harkness has a deadly wit"