Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Night Lab: Magic, Mystery & Monsters

The SA Museum turned into an adult playground for one night, featuring food, drink, fun and games for grownups.

Staff and volunteers of the SA Museum created our very own wonderland on North Terrace. Wow!

Presented by South Australian Museum
Reviewed 26 February 2021

The South Australian Museum turned into an adult playground for one night only. It was a sold-out event masterfully staged by the staff and volunteers of the cultural institute.

Featuring talks, games, discovery sessions, and activities on every floor, ticket holders were invited to fill their glasses and spend up to 4 hours exploring the museum’s marvellous collections in new ways, and participate in a diverse schedule of planned activities.

For those wanting to learn, short talks offered insight into artefacts and collections. Those preferring to discover the world themselves could star gaze, explore the darkened Egyptian collections by torchlight, or brush artefacts buried in an Egyptian dig pit. Fun and games were had with 80s arcade games, fortune telling, face painting, and drawing sessions, while music filled the air on multiple levels through DJs, a silent disco, and stunning mobile performances by Simone Slattery on violin and vocals.

Most of the activities were ongoing through the night, while those with set timeslots, like the talks, were repeated through the night. Breakout areas amongst dimly lit collections added to the relaxed atmosphere that encouraged punters to find a beanbag amongst the animals, laze on a blanket on the front lawn, or hover by the bar or café to natter.

Parts of the museum itself were decked out in candlelight, cobwebbed staircases, and other delights. The large complement of staff and volunteers added to the fun with wacky costumes, and were on hand to offer help and information.

The one failing of Night Lab can be found in that singular title. Had it been plural, many more Fringe-goers could have experienced our very own wonderland on North Terrace. The time and effort to prepare such an event over four floors however, simply means next year’s Night Lab cannot arrive soon enough.


Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Venue:  SA Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide
Season:  26 February only. Season ended.
Duration:  Up to 4 hours
Tickets:  $38

Rating out of 5: 5




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