I am friends with a wonderful woman, Polly, who has a wonderful home in East Oxford – Grove House.

Polly’s home has an addition, the Rotunda. This, unsurprisingly round, building was where Vivien Greene (wife of Graham) had her doll’s house museum and is now a space for eclectic performances from around the world (as well as much else – have a look at the website).

And on Thursday July 7th there is going to be one of those eclectic, eccentric and hopefully downright entertaining evenings of performance. The Catalyst Club is coming to Oxford.

The Catalyst Club hails from Brighton where it has been hearing from passionate communicators for the past seven years. It draws on the old traditions of French Salon and debating societies with three guest speakers taking to the stage for 15 minutes during which they talk on a subject close to their hearts. Previous contributions in Brighton have included: Bees – Emergence Theory – Hitler’s Moustache – Victorian Lantern Shows – Cunnillingus – The Exciting World of Slime Mould – Giant Squid – The Dawn of Civilisation.

And what should I talk about, now I have been asked to join such exulted company? I have been considering this long and hard. Topics that spring to mind: Ultimate Frisbee; Love; Wildness; The Importance of Dangling Small Children by their Ankles Over Muddy Puddles in the Woods; The Global Height Conspiracy; Why does Music Make us Cry …

Yet, despite proffering all of these fascinating opportunities, I have been asked to talk on: Why Hedgehogs are Crucial for the Survival of Humanity…

I am joined by renegade potter Carrie Reichardt who, among many other extraordinary things, travelled to Texas to say farewell to her friend, Ash, on death row; and after he was killed, took a death mask of his face to be exhibited around the world, highlighting the brutality of the American penal system.

And the third leg of this veritable stool of pleasure is David Bramwell – founder of the Catalyst Club – who has forsworn modern media for the last ten years and done more stuff than I care to think about.

In fact both of these contributors are ever so slightly intimidating, so this is a plea to my friends – come and support a small spiny mammal as he does his best at the Catalyst Club in Oxford on July 7th. You can buy tickets via here.