Comedians Sandi Toksvig and Sue Perkins will be among the attractions at this year's Telegraph Hay Festival - but their engaging new act will be showcased first at the Arts Theatre in London this Sunday (6th March).
Sunday Telegraph columnist Toksvig, and Perkins, appear regularly on radio together but will be trying out their innovative show Sandra and Susan Give a Lecture at the Arts Theatre, Great Newport St, London WC2. They will also be one of the comedy attractions at the 2011 Hay Festival, on Saturday 28th March, when they appear at the Barclays Wealth Pavillion.
Toksvig said: "Comedians Sue Perkins and Sandi Toksvig take to the stage to give an entirely improvised lecture on a subject decided on the night by the audience. Prepare to reveal the little you may know as Sue and Sandi try to find out what useful information (and possibly props) is in the room on the night in question. Banning all internet access, the show walks a tightrope through the collective conscience and tries to see what happens when an audience not a computer is ‘googled’ live.
"Both Sue and I love the 'live' experience and want to see how far we can push it for a show."
Toksvig also loves the experience of performing to the crowds at Hay, which this year will also feature Paul Merton and Dara O'Briain. She added: "I have been taking part in the Hay Festival for years now and feel as though I am going home when I head there. If ever anyone was depressed about the standard of debate or the existence of cutting edge culture in the UK then a day trip to Hay will reassure them."

Review on a blog

I went last night to see a real treat - the preview of Sandra and Susan Give a Lecture, the new show by Sandi Toksvig and Sue Perkins that they will be taking to the Hay-on-Wye Festival in May.

It was truly fabulous! The show's format is entirely interactive - based on the premise that the audience can choose a subject and the ladies will be able to construct a "lecture" out of the material they gather.

Starting with an elimination general knowledge quiz (all internet and phone access being banned), they began the intelligence-gathering with the "last woman standing" - who turned out to have a career that consisted of tweeting about pancakes and had an interest in insulation, so the comedy had already begun to write itself! - and played "pass the mike" with the public. The various audience members picked out by the mistresses of ceremony obliged by steering the eventual subject of the lecture down a meandering path towards "The History of Recycling", which they duly delivered in part two.

It was marvellous stuff, almost completely ad-libbed, and suited these two incredibly talented comediennes down to the ground.

The interaction, although potentially dangerous given the unpredictability of audiences in general, worked brilliantly. Everyone felt really involved in the dénouement (the "lecture"), and from the outset through to the general "question and answer" section at the end of the show Sue and Sandi seemed perfectly relaxed and at home with it all.


This is a personal website run by John Saville.  All web pages are Copyright John Saville as are all photographs unless otherwise indicated. Other information (e.g. maps etc) may be copyright to others as indicated. No information may be copied or reproduced without prior permission (from: but this will almost certainly be willingly granted.