Review: Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour | Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Now in its fifth year, the tour is a breezethrough of some of the highlights of the Melbourne Museum – primarily the stuffed animals exhibit and the Melbourne history exhibit – shepherded by the comedic tour guides Ben McKenzie, Dave Lamb and Petra Elliott.
Splitting the sizable audience in two, Ben McKenzie and his rookie charge Dave Lamb meander through the dinosaur hall to the animals exhibit. Dave is very much the show stealer of the tour, spouting facts with an enthusiasm that is hard not to be infectious. McKenzie plays the perfect straight man to this, trying to contain his young ward’s behaviour, culminating in an effective use of space, laser pointers and a stuffed sloth bear. Between them they demonstrate a real love of the museum and knowledge.
Bridged by an entertaining, slick musical number, the second half of the tour was much less even. Petra Elliott lacks apparent interest in history, and doesn’t really interact with her mute and timid assistant Nadia Collins, leaving it a bit of a let down after the enthusiastic and informative beginning.
While there are limitations in the format (anyone left standing near the back of moving crowds will tend to miss a lot), there’s no doubt that the Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour delivers an entertaining and educational show. There’s little time to linger, but plenty to laugh at. If it’s your first time to the museum (or a comedy show, for that matter) it’ll leave you eager for more.
The Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour is on at the Melbourne Museum, 6pm, until April 21st.