Sunday Papers Live at Science Festival

Enjoy the ultimate Sunday, as this popular event returns, bringing roast dinners and a host of entertaining talks

Perfect, sacred Sundays, with their lazy brunches, hearty lunches, leisurely newspaper-leafing and blissfully chilled-out afternoons stretching ahead; the working week still satisfyingly out of sight. A really good, proper Sunday takes some beating – and local event hosts My Little Festival are making an art form of creating just that. Promising the ultimate Sunday, this event brings together all the best bits of the Day of Rest into one delicious package of entertainment, talks, and of course, plenty of great food and drink. 

It’s called Sunday Papers Live, and it’s coming our way on 18 March, popping up as part of this year’s Cambridge Science Festival. An homage to the shared joys of Sundays, the day’s entertainment is centred around the Sunday Papers – the twist being that, here, the stories are brought to life by speakers and performers. Inspired by broadsheet supplements, expect talks on politics, travel, the arts and more, delivered in a lively, interactive way by writers, musicians, poets and comedians – whilst you get comfy and enjoy tasty food and drinks.  

“The special science edition aims to offer a thought-provoking, and enjoyable, Sunday where people can relax – as well as be engaged with current issues and intellectual topics,’ says Alex Ruczaj, marketing director for My Little Festival. “We brought Sunday Papers Live to Cambridge in 2016 and got a great response. Working with the Cambridge Science Festival has enabled us to programme a fantastic day of compelling talks, plus we can call on great local talent for entertainment and hospitality too. Imagine the perfect social Sunday, great food and drink, newspapers... all with a healthy dose of popular science.’’ 

"As soon as I heard about Sunday Papers Live, I knew it
would be a good fit for the Cambridge Science Festival"

“As soon as I heard about Sunday Papers Live I knew it would be a good fit for the Cambridge Science Festival and, as such, we’re really excited to bring the science edition to our audiences for the first time this year,” adds Lucinda Spokes, co-ordinator of the Science Festival. “We’re very lucky to have a vast resource of talented and engaging scientists at the Festival; this event brings together some of the best and most entertaining of these speakers in a format that is really accessible for everyone. It’s certainly going to be a vibrant, lively event, with performance poetry, comedy, Bloody Marys, and delicious food. I fully expect it to be a sell-out!”

Taking place at the Cambridge Wine Merchants Wine Bar at the University Centre, guests can enjoy Sunday roast-inspired bites, including Italian-style roast potatoes and vegan options, alongside CWM’s carefully selected range of wines, prosecco, craft beers and Bloody Marys.

Once you’ve stocked up, sink into comfy chairs and get your grey matter working with talks by a host of top speakers including the likes of Giles Yeo, geneticist and star of BBC Horizon shows. He’ll be shedding light on the dirty secret behind clean eating, sharing his findings on food fads and how they stand up to scientific rigour. Joining him is Amanda Prorok – an expert on swarm robot technology – who’ll be in conversation with Adrian Hiller from The Technology Partnership to discuss how robots could help solve some of our modern-day challenges (including, thank goodness, traffic jams!). 

Also speaking is popular science writer and biologist David Bainbridge – who has written extensively about the natural history of teenagers, the middle aged, and most recently, about the origins and power of the female body shape. Sander van der Linden, meanwhile, an expert in the ‘wisdom of crowds,’ and the psychology of group consensus, risk, and polarisation, will talk about fake news, offering a social psychology perspective on this fascinating and uncomfortable phenomenon.

Bringing his characteristic warmth and humour will be John Osbourne, who’ll deliver an entertaining dose of performance poetry with a sciency spin, while eccentric tea lady Bev will be filling the gaps with hot drinks, biccies and larger-than-life wit.

There will be loads more activities to get stuck into too, including fun and games with The Centre for Computing History, who’ll be offering a chance for you to go on a major nostalgia trip messing around on vintage computers including the ZX Spectrum and old BBC Micro plus Big Trak remote control cars and other retro games consoles.

Sound good? You can pick up a ticket for the bargain price of £10 via Ticket Tailor, and if you fancy really throwing the boat out, level it up with the bottomless option (£22.50 a head), which gives you limitless drinks for two hours, plus one food dish.


Who? My Little Festival in conjunction with Cambridge Science Festival 

What? Real-life incarnation of your fave Sunday broadsheets, featuring speakers, entertainment, top tipples and tasty eats  

When? 18 March, 12pm to 4pm 

Where? Cambridge Wine Merchants Wine Bar, University Centre at Granta Place 

How Much? Entry tickets £10 per adult and £5 for children 12 to 18 years (under 12s are free, but the event is geared towards older children)