What is it?

In a nutshell?

Debate, discussion and discourse in the company of some of the fiercest intellectuals that the UK has to offer.

Brought to you by Beltane Public Engagement Network, the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas first ran at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe.


The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas is designed as an informal platform for academics and researchers to engage with the public on an array of topics. We at Beltane think The Cabaret is public engagement at its best and most extreme.

Renowned for its extravagant displays and outlandish performances, the Edinburgh Fringe provides the ideal setting to discuss hidden and controversial research with an entirely different group who may not usually come into contact with it.


The concept of the shows is simple: to get research out to the masses, beyond the university walls. Academics from different universities and organisations come together to create, write and perform individual shows. In these shows,  they try to make their expertise more accessible in a different context by discussing provocative and ‘dangerous’ topics.

The academics are put through a series of ‘boot camps’ to ensure they are ready to brave the ‘PUBLIC’…  just kidding. The boot camps are designed to ensure that the shows presented are engaging in the most effective way, steering away from the Lecture Style and towards audience participation.

Key components

  • 60 mins with 50% of time for audience interaction (last year presenters spoke on average for 10 mins before getting the audience involved)
  • No slideshows or videos
  • Lots of props!
  • Cabaret compere Comedienne Susan Morrison who ensures the audience never go quiet…

Watch Susan in fabulous High Definition explaining more about the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas.

Fringe 2018

CoDI will be showcasing two performances every day (3-26 August). Join us at daytime shows at 1:30-2:30 and then 8:10-9:10pm for our evening shows, CoDI After Dark… at the New Town Theatre  (Fringe Venue 7).

Tickets available now from EdFringe and The Stand.