Arts & Entertainment

Jurassic Lounge’s big bang

An after hours party in the Museum? There’s an idea. Dancing the night away next to T-Rex or some other giant carnivore – now that’s a wild party. No, this is not the plot for a new Pixar film, it’s Jurassic Lounge, showcasing a unique kaleidoscope of emerging artists, inside the sandstone walls of the Australian Museum. It’s an extravaganza of comedians, bands, burlesque, craft workshops, debates, dance, bars and food – each week focused around a different theme – and runs for ten Tuesday nights.

Visitors better be quick because Jurassic Lounge will soon be extinct. This Spring is the last chance to experience all it has to offer before the proverbial asteroid hits and wipes everything out. By all reports, Jurassic Lounge is going out with a big bang.

According to Penny Salway, production coordinator of the event, the format has been a massive success drawing over 50,000 people through the hallowed halls over the past three years.

“Initially it started out as an attempt to attract 18-35 year olds to the Australian Museum. Now we get about 2000 people each night, so it can get pretty manic at times,” says Salway.

“It’s a strictly 18 plus event with up to 20 different things happening at any one time, so you should expect the unexpected.”

Is there any truth to the rumour of couples meeting here for the first time? Salway is a picture of optimism.

“Well it’s perfect for a first date,” she says, “and each week Date Roulette is one of our absolute crowd-pleasers.”

It would be cool to tell the grand-kids that you met in the Jurassic period!

So as we count down the days to extinction here is a breathless taste of what’s on offer.

Sep 3rd is the Time Machine Party where every room is a different decade. Grab a drink at a 1920’s speakeasy, visit the 70s Disco Photo Booth, let physique aerobics take you through the sweaty 80s with lycra, leotards and leg warmers, while up in the dinosaur room there’s a grungy 1990s grafitti art wall.

Sep 10th is the Film and Photography night. Cinema Burlesque performs and Kino Sydney hosts some short filmmaking. Flashdance, Dracula or better still why not try to recreate Jurassic Park? Speed debate topic is “Anyone can be a photographer but it takes talent to be a film maker”.

Sep 17th is the 5 Senses Night where each performance takes a different sense. The blindfold challenge is hosted by Guide Dogs Australia, blend your own tea with T-Totaler or ‘smell out’ your new love in the Pheremone Dating game. Yuk!

Sep 24th is Cowboy Night complete with giant mechanical bull, a shooting gallery of nerf guns, boot-scooting line dancing and inflatable cactus and sheriff badges. Giddy-up!

Oct 1st is Cycling and Up-Cycling Night. Ride to the venue and enjoy free valet bike parking. The folks at Reverse Garbage will show how to reuse all manner of things and you can take the Ten Second Chair Challenge – make a chair out of cardboard but you have to be able to sit in it for ten seconds.

Oct 8th is Dinosaur Night. Wasn’t she an American singer, Dina Shore? That joke should be in a museum. Visit the Dinosaur Therapy Lounge so you can prepare yourself for the end of the world as we know it. Witness the debate, “Dinosaurs are really mans best friend”.

Oct 15th is Dad’s Night and a daggy personal favourite. There is the Dad Joke workshop. Get your hair cut by an old-school barber. Ride the elevator containing a comedian behind a BBQ who will give you a free dad joke. Go to the Socks and Jocks Disco where your prize for Dad Dancing is you guessed it – a pair of jocks or socks. Comedian Ben Elwood will run the Dad’s Advice Corner.

Oct 22nd is Tutti Fruitti Night and a perfect time to make your very own Carmen Miranda fruit-hat. Enjoy a honey workshop or play the most memorable game of putt-putt golf ever – around a variety of performance artists in full flight. Body painting, a hash-tag DJ and I Will Survive – cryptic!

Oct 29th is Halloween Night so you can road-test your costume two days early. Listen to the freaky Bloody Lovely Audrey. Watch Scientists prepare their specimens live and find out what really lies in the depths of the ocean.

Nov 5th is Extinction Night. Come and celebrate Jurassic Lounge. Watch the Raptor’s Choice Award for the best act of the past three years. Catch a show by Miss Pole Dance Australia – is PC also extinct? Discover how to make history sexy with Idea Bombing.

Jurassic Lounge is much more than coming to the Museum and having a drink with the dinosaurs. It’s not quite the end of the world as we know it but is silly enough to be a lot of fun. (GW)

Sep 3-Nov 5, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, $16,

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