Tag: Melbourne Museum

Set phasers to “Laugh”…?

So said the Melbourne International Comedy Festival iPhone app. It seems they truly have embraced the way of the geek – if not entirely successfully.

Anyway, the Man in the Lab Coat will be out and about a lot this year, and while a new solo science show is still a little way off – there is one in the making, I promise! – there’s no shortage of opportunities to see me be funny.

The biggest news is that the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour is back and bigger than ever! For the first time we have international tour guides, not six but nine performances, and no Ben McKenzie. Yes, it’s true, I am producing but not performing this year, but that just means someone else will be writing new dinosaur jokes for your edification! As well as the tour, there’s also Melbourne Museum Lunchtime Comedy, a Saturday lunchtime series science and history based comedy from some of the smartest stars of the Comedy Festival. The whole thing’s so big now that it deserves its own web site – so I’ve given it one. Head over to museumcomedy.com to find out who’s on when and where!

The main reason I won’t be doing jokes about dinosaurs is because I’ll be too busy doing jokes about dragons. Yes, the sell-out, literally underground hit of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, +1 Sword, returns for another season at Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets in Collingwood. If you’ve ever wondered what Dungeons & Dragons is all about, now’s your chance to wield a wand and swing a sword and learn everything you never knew you could know about the world’s first and most popular fantasy role-playing game. And if that’s not enough, for three nights only you can watch some of your favourite comedians from around the festival go on the archetypal monster-killing, treasure collecting adventure in the improvised show, Dungeon Crawl. You can find out lots more about the show over at my production company web site, Shaolin Punk.

Plus, I’ll be doing a few guest spots around the festival, including the comedy festival special edition of Political Asylum and the second Annual General Meeting of my old sketchtastic friends, the Anarchist Guild Social Committee. Details in the new and improved gigs list to the right, and on the Where and When? page.

So yeah – it’s a big festival for the Man. And there’s more news to come, so stay tuned!

The Man in the Media

I’m popping up in a few places this week, so look out if you’re up for a dose of enthusiastic science geekery!

Matt Smith – no, not the new Doctor, but the lovely man putting together The Pun’s PunCast interviews – spoke to me the other day about the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour, the Anarchist Guild Social Committee and Graeme Garden. It was excellent fun, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to our conversation, which you can find in PunCast Episode 9.

Also, if you’re in Melbourne, be sure to tune in to Channel 31 on Monday, April 20 for Yartz, where the irrepressible (but no less lovely than Matt Smith) Ralph McLean asked me the hard questions about dinosaurs at Melbourne Museum. This one will probably also end up on YouTube, I’m told – I’ll be sure to link to it when it does!

Speaking of the tour, you do all know that it begins this Thursday (April 16), right? And that the first week is nearly sold out? Book your tickets now or get them at the door (there are still a few left for Friday and Saturday), and we’ll see you there!

Phar Lap started it

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…

Museum Comedy Tour tickets now on sale!

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!

It’s (Big) Crunch Time

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 PMĀ  (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.