In December 2017, after a few years in the wilderness, Nine Lessons returned with four sold out nights at London’s Conway Hall.


Since springing into life over a decade ago, Robin Ince’s Christmas variety nights have become a thing of a legend in the UK, merrily combining ideas, experiments, songs, laughs and more.


After a few years hiatus, in December of 2017, The Cosmic Shambles Network were proud to present, by popular demand, the return of Nine New Lessons and Carols for Godless People! What followed was four sold out nights of science, comedy, music and the usual shambles, live at Conway Hall right in the heart of London.

Profits from these shows went towards some of our favourite charities including St Mungo’s, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Rewrite.

We also collected for The Trussell Trust over the course of the shows where our phenomenal cast, crew and audience brought in over 300kg of food, toiletries and more that ended up with those that needed it most in time for Christmas.

Who was on the bill?

Across four nights there really was a bit of everything. Maps of particle physics, audience games with massive lasers, mathematically improbable snowflakes, anti-facist anthems, brussels sprouts genetics, powerful poetry, superb stand up, robot drummers, quantum computers making jazz, cocktail making, gravitational waves, venomous snakes and pretty much anything else you’d care to mention!

December 16th

Dr Helen Czerski (MC for first half), Dr Andrew Steele, Dr Kat Arney, Simon Watt, Phil Jeays, Thom Tuck, Hugh Warwick, Dr Simon Singh, Robin Ince (MC for second half), Arnold Brown, Salena Godden, Prof Andrea Sella, Dr Katie Steckles, Prof Jon Butterworth, John Luke Roberts, Grace Petrie.

December 19th

Robin Ince (MC), Dr Jim Walsh, Prof Bruce Hood, Audrey Heartburn (Tracey Collins), Matt Parker, Richard Vranch, Peter Buckley Hill, Prof Jim Al-Khalili, Dr Lucy Rogers, Phil Jeays, Dr Simon Singh, Norman Lovett, Prof Lucie Green, Simon Watt, Mitch Benn, Prof Jon Butterworth, George Egg, Steve Backshall, She Makes War, Stewart Lee

December 20th

Robin Ince (MC), Prof Sophie Scott, Matt Stellingwerf, George Egg, Dr Adam Rutherford, Seb Lee-Delisle, Nikesh Shukla, Ginny Smith, Grace Petrie, 1201-Alarm, Prof Lucie Green, John Luke Roberts, Josie Long, Dr Jamie Gallagher, She Makes War, Matt Parker, Steve Pretty

December 22nd

Robin Ince (MC), Steve Mould, Michael Legge, Ginny Smith, Josie Long, 1201-Alarm, Dr Helen Czerski, Howard Read, Grace Petrie, Greg Foot, Dr Andrew Steele, Dr Suze Kundu, Prof Mark Miodownik, John Luke Roberts, Steve Pretty, Dr Suzi Gage, Dallas Campbell, Jim Moray

And each night we were joined by our excellent house band of Will Bartlett (all nights), Dunja Lavrova (19, 20, 22) and Alice Pratley (16th)

Produced by Trunkman Productions

Producers and curators: Trent Burton, Melinda Burton, Robin Ince

Special Thanks to Jo Gostling, Peyvand Sadeghian, Richard Lewis, Lily Driscoll, Vivian Archer, The Conway Hall team, Paul Sullivan PR


A selection of photos from the shows taken by Steve Best

Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People will return in 2018.

But before that be sure to get tickets for our huge spectacular show in June at the Royal Albert Hall!  Robin Ince + Chris Hadfield’s Space Shambles.