Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Night Lab: Brick to the Future

The SA Museum has done it again with another sensational night of fun and frivolity, bringing yesterday and tomorrow to life in unexpected ways.

The SA Museum has done it again with another sensational night of fun and frivolity, bringing yesterday and tomorrow to life in unexpected ways.

Presented by: South Australian Museum
Reviewed: 17 March, 2023

In a galaxy not so far far away, who you gonna call? This was the choice of the older generation who absolutely, positively had to be there over the night!

Returning to big hair, pet rocks, arcade games, and the most popular decade of music, the South Australian Museum lifted the shoulder pads off the 1980s for a night of games, talks, karaoke and Lego.

Since the modern iteration of the Night Lab launched at the 2021 Adelaide Fringe, the SA Museum has been finding new and unique ways to bring adults back to the museum with these popular quarterly events.

Each one-night-only, adults-only Night Lab is themed, replete with costumed staff and themed galleries across all floors. Short talks and interactive activities were all the rage, right alongside dancing, singing, exhibitions and more.

Brick to the Future, a play on the name of the popular mid-80s film Back to the Future, ties in with the current Relics Lego exhibition at the museum. A bonus feature of each ticket to Night Lab includes free entry into special exhibitions or activities, in this case, also including the wonderful Volo Dreams of Flight virtual reality swings on the front lawns of the venue.

The night kept to the theme with oversized sustainable cardboard Lego blocks where punters could create their own simplified version of the stunning Relics exhibition. End results, although impressive, couldn’t compare to the visual marvel of the dystopian future and storytelling found in Relics: A New World Rises. Far from the youthful play one expects from Lego, this is dark and complex and challenging food for thought, magnificently presented in a grungy, breathtaking style. It is a must-see exhibition, on show until 23 July 2023.

On the subject of dystopian futures, Star Wars characters wandered about, while the South Australia Ghostbusters (who knew?!) kept spectres at bay while punters indulged in giant Jenga, Connect-4, Rubik’s Cubes, and making their own pet rock to take home. There were arcade games aplenty if you didn’t have the energy to Walk Like an Egyptian in that gallery.

Interestingly, Tiahni Adamson from CH4 Global gave one of the talks for the night, discussing the use of Asparagopsis seaweeds in cattle feed to reduce methane gas emissions. The first herd of these methane-reduced cattle last year has put South Australia on the map, and Glam Adelaide was at that launch! Other speakers at the Temple of Science were Jeannine Malcolm from Mobius Farm talking about black soldier fly larvae, and Urban Ecologist Professor Chris Daniels discussing the recolonising of urban spaces after people. Over in Relics, co-creator Jackson Harvey also spoke to his vision in developing the exhibition with Alex Towler.

Facts, fun, frivolity, and fashion were the fabulous focus of Friday night. The SA Museum has done it again, and Everyone’s a Winner Baby if they made it to this Night Lab.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis

Venue: South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide
Season: ended

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