Author Archives: walesbeacon

Bright Club Wales 4: Fear

Bright Club, the thinking man’s variety night, is back! And as it’s Halloween, we’ve decided to make it a spooky-special!*

We have:

Regular MC Dr Dean Burnett: psychiatry teacher, who will regale you with stories from his time working in the anatomy school morgue, and also the true horrors that lie within the human mind.

Rhys Phillips: An expert on lightning, the stuff that brought Frankenstein’s monster. He will tell you all about his work on aeroplanes. You think you were scared of Lightning before? You don’t know the half of it.

Edward Gomez: Astronomer, will tell all about the universe and the cosmos, emphasising how cold and Godless the universe is, and how insignificant we all are.

Trevor J Williams: A local skeptic enthusiast with a health condition that means he could DIE AT ANY SECOND!

Bob Ramsey: A genuine Psychic and Medium, who will be communing with the dead live on stage for your terror and entertainment.

Plus more.

Come one, come all. If you dare!

£5 Entry, pay on the door

The venue is Buffalo Bar, Windsor Place, Cardiff

[* = Bright Club is an academic comedy night aimed at providing laughs via a more intellectual route, so we acknowledge that ghosts are probably not real]

Autumn dates set

We have now set the dates for the next three Bright Clubs, which will be:

31st October
28th November
19th December

We nearly have the first line up complete and if anyone would like to have a go, please get in touch with us

Bright Club 3 – 25th July 2011

Monday 25th July at Buffalo, Cardiff

Doors 7:30pm £5 entry

Bright Club, the thinking person’s cabaret night returns for the Cardiff Comedy festival. And because it’s the comedy festival (and because academics are all at conferences during the summer) this time the reigns are being handed over to experienced comedians with intellectual opinions and views of their own. Bright Club promises the usual mix of high-brow observations and genuine belly-laughs, but this time with an even more surreal edge. Don’t miss it!

Acts lined up so far:

WES PACKER – Award winning Welsh comic, combines controversial views with a love of software and Bhuddism.

CHRIS CHOPPING – Bookish young optician’s employee with some brilliantly analytical takes on wine, social ettiquite and the service industry.

DAVID STEELE – Cardiff’s premier comedy medic returns to Bright Club before leaving the city for the wilderness of North Wales. Don’t miss his geographical Swansong.

DEAN BURNETT – Regular MC, since the previous event Dean has become Cardiff newest trainer of Psychiatrists, performed with Brian Cox and other scientific celebrities, and had a massive public conflict in a busy Gregg’s. Come hear all about it.

Musical Act:

ASHLEY FRIEZE – One of the UK’s most experienced and smartest Musical acts, performing songs about anything from quantum physics to bodily functions.

Update – additional acts

TED SHIRESS – Cardiff’s best stand up who also happens to have Cerebral Palsy, discussing his take on the concept of disability pride.

JONATHAN STABLER – Software expert who has applied quantum mechanics to politics.

TREVOR WILLIAMS – A brilliant newcomer with a hilarious take on epilepsy and tattoos.

Special Mini Bright Club tonight 23rd May

Doors 9pm Finishing around 11pm
KuKu Club, Park Plaza Hotel

We have half a Bright Club tonight in central Cardiff as part of a gathering of all of the Beacons for Public Engagement.

This will consist of Dean Burnett hosting with Piers Stanger (climate change), Mike Greenhough (Time) and Ben Connell (Physics) being the academic filling and musical entertainment by Owen Niblock. There will also be a special guest appearance from the father of Bright Clubs – Steve Cross from UCL

As this is not a full Bright Club, instead of the usual £5 entry we have decided to ask for donations on the door to Mind Cymru (specifically through Rachel Ann Bowen’s Three Peaks Challenge ). Rachel used to work for the Beacon for Wales and left us to work for Mind Cymru.

Future Bright Club Dates

Our next event was scheduled for 30th May but we have run into a problem with chairs – the venue don’t have enough, the University’s are all being used for exams and we can’t find a chair delivery company prepared to deliver on a Bank Holiday Monday. I know the event is a Stand-up comedy night but I don’t think it is meant to include the audience as well!

So our next event will be Tuesday 28th June at Buffalo, Cardiff. Sorry for the long delay between the events again but we will make it up to you in June.

Well, it happened! – First Bright Club Wales

Thanks to everyone who turned up to out first Bright Club Wales event on such a cold night. Hopefully you all enjoyed it, we know that the academics who took part did (after they overcame their nerves and fears). If you were not able to make it, then you missed:

  • Mike Ward talking about being a 30 (ish) year old social scientist researching and trying to fit in with 17-18 year old  men and unusual places to go to the toilet.
  • Keir Waddington, medical historian, seamlessly going from Waitrose revolutionaries past the Elephant Man and Florence Nightingale’s knickers to becoming the world’s expert on the history of German sausages.
  • Hamish Fyfe on becoming out and proud as a professor, dealing with students and dancing academics.
  • Ben Cornell , or Fizzy McPhysics, on being a technician who makes quasi-optical filters for satellites and the quality of scientific graffiti in Cardiff

The whole evening was compéred magnificently by Dean Burnett with a guest appearance from Ben about Beating Roger Bannister with musical accompaniment from Helen Arney whose new Christmas album “It’s going to be an awkward Christmas, Darling” is available from iTunes or

A 90 second “promo” clip from Monday’s Bright Club can be found at This does not cover all the acts as someone (who shall remain nameless but should know better) only brought one video tape with me him!

Following the success of the evening, we are now working on a second which is likely to be towards the end of February and is potentially themed around Communication.

Bright Club Wales on BBC Radio Wales

Michael Ward and Bruce Etherington were on the Jamie and Louise Show today talking about Monday’s Bright Club. You can listen again here from 2:08:20 till 2:17:25 until next Wednesday

First Bright Club Wales 29th November 2010

Bright Club Wales features music, comedy and a humurous take on areas of interest you’ve probably never thought of.

A group of professional academics and researchers will take to the stage for the very first time to deliver hlarious observations on their areas of expertise, from the social group interactions of 17-18 year olds to the history of anti-masturbatory devices, or maybe something else altogether?

Hosted by Dean Burnett, Doctor of neuroscience and veteran of the Cardiff Comedy Scene with music and comedy provided by the amazing Helen Arney (as heard on Radio 4) with the following confirmed academics:

Mike Ward, Sociologist,  looking at how a 30-something researcher tries to observe 17-18 year old boys

Kier Waddington, medical historian, discussing all manner of things, from knitwear to ironed newspapers and German sausages.

Hamish Fyfe, Professor of Drama, discussing some his favourite aspects of his chosen subject.

Fizzy McPhysics (stage name, obviously) builder of satellite components, highlighting some of the more surreal aspects of his field.

Special Guest: Comedian Ben Partridge, analysing evolution in a rather inspired way.


All are welcome to the event which takes place in 10 Feet Tall, entry will be £5 on the doors which open at 7:30 for an 8pm start