The Night That Launched a Thousand Ships: Science, Story and Seafaring Adventure | With Dr Helen Czerski

Coronavirus reopening

Visitor notice: Royal Museums Greenwich will be closed from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December in line with government guidelines. If you have booked a ticket for this period please contact out more

Essential information

Date and time: 
Sunday 27 October 2019 | 7.30pm start | 6.50pm doors
£30 - £46
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark Lates

Helen of Troy’s face may have launched a thousand ships, but our night of amazing Helens will launch just one very special ship – Cutty Sark – into a special evening of boundless curiosity and entertainment.

From seafaring and music to science and storytelling, each guest speaker on the night is ready to share their unique knowledge and expertise. 

The one thing that unites them? They're (almost) all called Helen!

That's right, Cutty Sark's night of nerdy wonderment is brought to you by a number of notable people who share their name with the legendary Spartan princess Helen of Troy.

As it is Cutty Sark’s 150th birthday, proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the Cutty Sark Future Fund. 

Bonus points if you come dressed with a nautical twist. PLEASE NOTE: People named Helen get £1 off when booking by phone.

What is the show? 

It’s a sea-themed science comedy variety night, featuring some of the finest scientists, comedians and storytellers around. 

One of the reasons this show came about was because lazy journalists on Twitter kept asking “where are all the good female science communicators?” 

So we came up with this show to prove not only are there hundreds of great female science communicators out there, but that you can put together an entire show of just the ones called Helen. 

VIP ticket holders get seating on the front two rows (unreserved), the chance to explore the ship after hours with an audio tour (from 6pm), an exclusive virtual reality 'dive' of a Greek shipwreck as well as the chance to enjoy a cocktail up on deck. 

If you like TED talks - but funny and full of ocean-faring science and stories - this is the show for you. 

Who will be there?

This line up of performers is compeltely unique and will never be repeated again. 

Expect to be dazzled a number of notable Helens who have appeared on stage, TV, radio and in print (plus two token non-Helens for balance).

Dr Helen Czerski

Physicist, oceanographer and BBC presenter, Helen will be sharing some of her research with us. 

Helen McDonald

Singer, songwriter and storyteller, Helen will be sharing a bringing a spellbinding Caribbean island story to whisk us away to warmer seas during these cold months of October.  

Dr Helen Pilcher

Science writer and comedian, author of de-extinction guide Bring Back The King, Helen will be talking about whether it's possible to bring that well-known mariner, Elvis Presley, back from the dead. 

Dr Helen Scales

Marine biologist and author of Spirals In Time. Helen will be talking about some of the most curious creatures you might find under the surface of the ocean.

Dr Helen Farr

Maritime Archaeologist, diver and sailor at the University of Southampton. Helen specialises in early seafaring, especially in the Mediterranean, where the boats from the time of the Helen of Troy story would have sailed - and sunk. 

Natalie Haynes

Comedian, host of Natalie Haynes Stands Up For the Classics on Radio 4, and author of A Thousand Ships, the story of Helen of Troy but from the (usually ignored) woman's perspective. 

Hannah Stockton

Cutty Sark’s own curator and history buff, Hannah will be talking about the restoration of Nannie the figurehead, and what's next for the famous witch. 

Helen Arney

Comedian, geek songstress, host and curator of the evening. As seen on the BBC, Discovery Channel and as part of the Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Helen will be bringing extra science, songs, and sea-themed fun for the evening.