Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: SAM x Electric Dreams presents Night Lab: Bedtime Stories

The SA Museum’s latest Night Lab opened the institute to adults only for another night of music, games, talks and exploration.

Another successful evening of whimsy, cheesy fun, and fascinating new ways to explore the world around us

Presented by the South Australian Museum
Reviewed 18 February 2022

The SA Museum’s adults-only Night Lab evenings are highly anticipated events for those in the know, often booked out or close to it. They leave any eager punter keen for more and while the first for 2022 was low key compared to last year’s four events, COVID restrictions and Fringe opening night celebrations probably had a lot to do with it.

Even so, the night was filled with the museum staff’s usual sense of whimsy, cheesy fun and fascinating new ways to explore the world around us. In the true spirit of Night Labs past, it began with attention-grabbing costumes, this time a staff pyjama party, directing and amusing patrons in their comfy nightwear and fluffy slippers. Oh, to have a job where one can wear PJs to work!

Teaming with Electric Dreams, the Bedtime Stories theme included virtual reality activities and nocturnal adventures like navigating an obstacle course using only the sonar senses of a bat. Giant Jenga and Connect 4 added to the interactive fun, as did origami, shell painting, sketching and crafts.

Electric Dreams offered sneak peaks of their separate shows being hosted at the museum during the Fringe, including their Dreams of Flight VR swings located on the front lawns of the SA Museum. The swings offer four unique virtual reality flight experiences, each lasting around four minutes which you watch while on a swing. Hold tight as your perception is messed up riding a virtual glider, helical screw, ornithopter or parachute… and don’t go on an empty stomach!

DJs filled some spaces with music while other spaces let you chill out on beanbags. Bars offered booze to walk around with, and the museum’s cafe kept the lights on for those needing to soak up the alcohol.

For those keen to learn, there were a couple of talks through the night and an opportunity to chat directly with museum staff and volunteers. Insider knowledge adds immensely to exploring the Egyptian artifacts by torchlight. Spooky!

All year round, the SA Museum continues to find ways to engage people, and their interactive The Shadow Initiation game is one such thrill, also made available for free during this Night Lab. The result was the wonderful chaos of punters racing against the clock to find clues and solve the puzzles.

Bravo yet again to the SA Museum staff and volunteers, who showed no shame to ensure everyone had a laugh and learnt. If you are yet to experience a Night Lab event, keep an eye on the SA Museum website for any future Labs. You’ll never see them in the same light again.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Venue: South Australian Museum, North Tce, Adelaide
Season: One-night only. Season ended
Duration: 4 hours

Rating out of 5: 4

#Adelaide # ADLfringe @SAMuseum

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