The ingenuity of the SA Museum staff to keep finding new ways to engage patrons is...well... ingenious!
Presented by the South Australian Museum
Reviewed 14 May 2021
The sold-out success of the South Australian Museum’s Night Lab event in the Adelaide Fringe has spurned a new series of adults-only adventures to look forward to. This second Night Lab was the first of three extra nights that have been planned for the year.
With an aquatic theme seeing the staff and some patrons dressed in nautical attire, the one-night-only experience allowed adults to once again explore the museum in delightful new ways and without any young’uns getting underfoot.
Songs, dancing, storytelling, a silent disco, and a not-so-silent disco provided plenty of entertainment, alongside a sea-shanty singalong and a fascinating series of shorts talks and presentations that were repeated through the evening. If the sex life of prawns was too risqué, the comical Marine Invertebrates team pitted a Trolley of Death against a Trolley of Life to explore marine creatures that could either kill or save lives.
The biodiversity gallery gave visitors the opportunity to sketch the displays, while upstairs on level 3, guests were invited to pilot a remote submersible. Basket weaving, live tattooing, and hula dance classes added to the fascinating array of activities to discover or participate in, with each floor of the museum utilised.
A bar and food service was available throughout the night, but there was always Sky Doodle’s Fairy Floss for an unexpected sweet treat of animal-shaped creations on a stick.
The Night Lab experience is easily one of the most unique and fascinating adventures for adults this side of the Fringe. They are well thought out, well-paced, and presented with such extraordinary effort by the staff and volunteers of the museum. For such a big event to play out so smoothly is a credit to the brains behind the ideas and execution. Alongside the museum’s excellent interactive game, The Shadow Initiation, the Night Lab is yet another example of their ingenuity in keeping learning and discovery so fresh and engaging no matter what your age.
If you’ve missed these first two Night Lab events, hang your head in shame and prepare to Bug Out at the next one in August or camp it up with Flamingo Fabulousness for the Feast Festival in November. Keep an eye on the South Australian Museum’s website for details as they become available.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis