The Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour finished a few short weeks ago, but in some ways it feels like an age. Six nights of sold out marlarkey! I should also mention that we received a small number of lovely reviews, including the Groggy Squirrel and Richard Watts of The Age.
Thank you to Janet A. McLeod and Andy Muirhead, my fellow science comedians; to Bernard Caleo and all the staff and volunteers at the Museum; to Gail Miller, my fearless co-producer; and of course to everyone who bought tickets and came to see the show. For those of you who missed out, don’t despair – I suspect we will be back! You can keep your eye on the blog to find out when and where.
And don’t forget, National Science Week is coming up in August – if not before, you’ll see the Man in the Lab Coat again then, doing…something. In the meantime, now that festival madness has abated, I will be writing a few more blog posts, and there are other projects in the works too. I’ll be around a bit more!
It’s been an action-packed first week of the Comedy Festival, not least because it culminated in my 30th orbit round the sun. As we head off on another elliptical, gravity-powered journey, I think back on the last thirty years in wonder. Who knows where we’ll be in 2039?
Let’s focus on a smaller interval of time, though. First, I must report that the first night (Thursday April 16) of the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour has sold out! A couple of the other nights look set to go the same way, so be sure and book (via comedyfestival.com.au) to avoid missing out. Watch out for myself and the other tour guides popping up in various media over the next week or so, as well!
I’m also appearing in the Anarchist Guild Social Committee show, A Fine Selection, on April 12 and 19. This may well be the last hurrah for these sketches, so come see them while you can!
If like me you’re not just a science geek but geeky in general, you may enjoy my column for Comedy Festival paper The Pun. It’s titled Ben McKenzie’s Geek Comedy and it’s about…well, geek comedy! The first article explains everything so don’t be afraid.
Finally, for those who don’t know, your favourite lab coat wearing man about town can now be found talking nonsense on Twitter. No, not Rob Morrison: me! Find me under the fairly obvious user name labcoatman, where you can read what I’m seeing at the festival and watch me exchange nonsense with my friends and celebrities I don’t know – par for the course, really.
For a dead equine celebrity, Phar Lap sure is chatty. The long-deceased champion with a heart of legendary proportions has his own Facebook account, and he’s been smack-talking the new Dinosaur Walk exhibit, which opens on Friday. Now, I’ve nothing against Phar Lap – I like horses, enough that the ethics of horseracing are worthy of a separate debate – but come on. Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, they don’t need any more grief! Especially not from a respected Australian icon.
Phar Lap has repeatedly said he’s afraid of the dinosaurs and glad they’re on the other side of thre museum from his good self, but I don’t buy it. Initially I thought the truth must be that he’s suffering from envy – after all, Melbourne Museum’s Phar Lap is just the wonder horse’s skin. His skeleton is in his homeland of New Zealand, while his famous heart dwells in our nation’s capital. I wonder if it’s enough to counteract the effect of all the heartless politicians? (Zing!)
I’ve now realised that he’s just bummed that he’s too far away from the Science Life gallery to be part of the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour. And why wouldn’t he be – it’s proving quite popular! If you want to come along this year, I’d suggest you book, especially if you were eyeing the dates of the 16th, 18th or 23rd of April.
Anyway, if you’re reading this Phar Lap, I would have loved to include you – you’re a fellow ginger, after all – but we only have so much time, and so much distance we can cover! It’s a big museum – the biggest in the southern hemisphere, fellow comedy tour guide Janet A. McLeod discovered. We just can’t cover it all…but I reckon the bit we’ve chosen, which is full of bugs, sea creatures and – of course – dinosaurs is a great grab-bag to get you started. People will just have to come back another time to talk to you, Phar Lap…
Yes, it’s true – you can now book tickets for the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour via comedyfestival.com.au! You’ll see dinosaurs, creatures of the deep and a whole lotta bugs through the eyes of Trivia Queen Janet A. McLeod, Collectors host and entomologist Andy Muirhead and yours truly – it’s a whole new way to experience Melbourne Museum.
A couple of nights sold out last year, so if you’re keen you’d better book ’em now!
Yes, it’s that end of Science Week – the end when I’m out there spreading the word and explaining weird stuff.
Friday through Sunday is , an hour-long amble through the brain melting fields of Stephen Hawking’s twenty-year-old masterpiece. You should book if you want to come – details on the show’s page – but at the moment there are still tickets left for all three performances (1:30 matinee Friday, 8 PM Saturday and 7 PM Sunday).
Friday evening is Not the Nobel Prize, Melbourne Museum’s science comedy panel show in which four comedians – including myself – go head to head with four scientists. They’ll spin some stories, and we’ll try and decide if they’re true or false. Sadly Sam Simmons can no longer be with us, but joining myself, Courteney Hocking and Charlie Pickering will be the ever-delightful Justin Hamilton. Bound to be excellent! The show starts at 7 PM, and you should book for this one too; details can be found on the Melbourne Museum web site.
And if you need a break from all the exciting Science Week stuff, you can also catch my two improvised projects this week: Impro Sundae with The Crew is on this Sunday, 5 PM at the Bella Union, Trades Hall; and the preview season of Set List, the new improvised musical show from my theatre company Shaolin Punk, plays this Thursday to Sunday night at 9 PM (8 PM on Sunday) at the Butterfly Club. Details can be found via those links, and I should point out that the only one of those in which I’ll be performing is Thursday night’s Set List.