Last year we took our traditional year end blend of science, comedy, music and mayhem online for 24 straight hours. This year we are BACK, live on stage, at our London home of Kings Place, for four nights and one family matinee just like normal. Or whatever counts as normal at Nine Lessons.

December 10, 11, 17 and 18 2021 @ 7:00pm

Family matinee Dec 11 @ 11:30am

[This] Christmas mashup of comedy, science and music reached dizzy heights”.
The Guardian

All shows are in Hall One at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

You can expect a HUGE bill of speakers and performers which will include lots of Nine Lessons favourites and plenty of first timers too! We’ll be announcing guests FIRST on this page in the run up to the gigs. And, of course, there’ll be a few extra surprises thrown in on the night.

As ever with Nine Lessons, profits from this event will be going towards our chosen charities. This year we are proud to be fundraising for Covax and Maytree Respite Centre. And as in years past we will also be collecting food and household goods for The Trussell Trust’s Euston Foodbank. A list of the most urgently needed items can be found at the bottom of this page. You can also find COVID protocols for the event at the end of the page.

If you’d like to become a Patreon supporter to support all the projects we do here at the Cosmic Shambles Network, click below. We can only put on shows like this, and all the other free online shows we’ve made during the pandemic, with your support.


If you want to watch the 2020 24 hour show (and four hour encore) Nine Lessons and Carols for Socially Distanced People, the entire show is free to watch online here or you can watch the whole thing condensed into 30 minutes here. Or check out the 2019, 2018 and 2017 editions.

Who’s on the bill this year?
(More names will be added regularly so check back often!)

Friday December 10th

Robin Ince

Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Dr Helen Czerski

Prof Chris Jackson

Robyn Hitchcock

Isy Suttie

John-Luke Roberts

Seb Lee-Delisle

Dr Anjana Khatwa

Dr Carly Howett

Prof Pragya Agarwal

Gemma Arrowsmith

Steve Pretty

Dr Erica McAlister

And more to be announced (and not announced…)

Saturday December 11th (Family Matinee)

Robin Ince

Bec Hill

Dr Camilla Pang

Dr Sammie Buzzard

Dr Suze Kundu

Dr Katie Steckles

Lori Hopkins

Jonny Berliner

Fran Scott

And more to be announced (and not announced…)

Saturday December 11th (Evening Show)

Robin Ince

Prof Janina Ramirez

Prof Anil Seth

Prof Tom Shakespeare

Prof Andrea Sella

Helen Arney

George Egg

Dr Jess Wade

Charlie George

Dr Helen Scales

Hugh Warwick

Bec Hill

Steve Pretty

And more to be announced (and not announced…)

Friday December 17th

Robin Ince

Natalie Haynes

Mark Watson

Dr Nikesh Shukla

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Grace Petrie

Deborah Frances-White

Prof Lucie Green

Bobby Seagull

Steve Mould


Miranda Lowe

Dr Linda Cremonesi

Ben Sparks

Dr Becky Wragg Sykes

And more to be announced (and not announced…)

Saturday December 18th

Robin Ince

Dr Helen Czerski

Prof Chris Lintott

Dr Nira Chamberlin

Matt Parker

Prof Jon Butterworth

Joanna Neary

Dr Suzi Gage

Dr Priti Parikh

Dr Yolanda Ohene

Prof Suzie Imber

Jim Bob


Femi & Marco

Fran Scott

Alison Spittle

Will Bartlett

And more to be announced (and not announced…)

About the Show

“The antidote to the ignorance and unkindness sweeping the world.” Chortle


Nine Lessons and Carols for Curious People is Robin Ince’s ground-breaking creation, the original variety night mashing up science, comedy, music and more. Born more than 15 years ago, this much-loved end of year tradition plays annually to sold out live audiences each year, pandemics permitting.
The aim of the show is promote curiosity and wonder of the world, and Universe, around us. There is delight to be found in every thing from quantum physics to puppetry to folk music to mathematics to absurdist comedy to poetry to biology to jazz to, well, to everything. The only prerequisite for Nine Lessons is an inquiring mind. As Robin says, ‘If you show people interesting things, they will be interested’.
Previous performers have included the likes of Prof Brian Cox, Sara Pascoe, Josie Long, Stewart Lee, Alice Roberts, Jim Al-Khalili, Jarvis Cocker, Grace Petrie, Mary Beard and many, many more.
Read about last year’s show 24 hour online show here, or the last live on stage edition in 2019 here.

Learn About This Year's Charities

All profits from this event will be split between our two chosen charities for 2021.

Covax/Gavi: The Vaccine Alliance 
Developing a vaccine against COVID-19 is the most pressing challenge of our time – and nobody wins the race until everyone wins.
The global pandemic has already caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and disrupted the lives of billions more. As well as reducing the tragic loss of life and helping to get the pandemic under control, introduction of a vaccine will prevent the loss of US$ 375 billion to the global economy every month. Global equitable access to a vaccine, particularly protecting health care workers and those most-at-risk is the only way to mitigate the public health and economic impact of the pandemic.

Maytree provide a unique residential service for people in suicidal crisis so they can talk about their suicidal thoughts and behaviour. They offer a free 4 night, 5 day one-off stay to adults over the age of 18 from across the UK with an aim to provide a safe, confidential, non-medical environment for their guests. A place where they can explore their thoughts and feelings, and feel heard with compassion and without judgement. Maytree remains unique. This year they plan to open a second house in Manchester.

Euston Foodbank (The Trussell Trust)
We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. The Euston Foodbank provides three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. They are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.


Euston Foodbank Collection

Each year at Nine Lessons we do a collection for the Euston Foodbank. We are appalled that food banks should even be required in the UK but the sad fact of the matter is, they are. If you are able to bring something along with you to the shows to donate there will be a collection point by the Shambles merchandise stand. You can speak to Jo on the stand if you have any queries.

Below are the most urgently needed items for 2021.

  • Dry Nuts
  • Coffee
  • Cooking Oil
  • Rice
  • Tinned Fruits
  • Jam
  • Peanut Butter and Spreads
  • Honey
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Biscuits
  • Crisps
  • Toothpaste

Please note the foodbank currently as an abundance of tinned soup and nappies and limited storage space so please refrain from bringing those items.


COVID Protocols

Obviously the safety of our audiences, artists and crew is of paramount importance

Please note that if you suspect you have any symptoms of coronavirus or have been advised by track and trace to self-isolate, including as a close contact of a suspected Omicron variant case, you must refrain from attending events at Kings Place. Please inform the venue of your situation prior to the event and they will happily offer you a credit voucher for the value of your tickets. This can be used against any Kings Place performance in the next 2 years. 

Whilst there is no current legal requirement to wear masks in indoor theatre settings we will be asking all audience members to wear a mask during the performance unless they are exempt. Masks will be available to collect at the venue for those who do not have one. Please note that mask wearing is legally compulsory in Kings Place public areas.

We also encourage all visitors to check in using the NHS Test and Trace app.

Kings Place also operates an industry leading state of the art fresh-air air-conditioning system which ensures air is never recirculated. All the communal areas and surfaces of the building have been sanitised using the Bioprotectus fogging disinfection programme and hand santiser is readily available throughout the venue. Please note that the cloakroom is currently closed. For full COVID safety information visit this site.

Kings Place is also recipient of the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard mark, certifying that we have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines with a Risk Assessment in place plus a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

All performers and CSN crew will have completed a negative LFT test before arrival at the venue.

Nine Lessons and Carols for Curious People is curated and produced by Trent Burton, Robin Ince & Melinda Burton
Live CSN Images by Natalie Shaw. Animation by William Marler

PLEASE NOTE: In the event of unforeseen circumstances the lineup is subject to change without notice.
COVID-19 protocols will be in place to best protect the health and safety of performers, crew and audience. For current COVID rules at Kings Place please check this page which will update in accordance with the changing COVID landscape.