Words by Akhil Bansal When I was in primary school, I used to rush home every afternoon to watch Backyard Science on ABC at 4 where they would conduct experiments and make fantastically terrible puns. Science Revue’s 2015 production Darwins & Dragons made me reminisce of the same nerds on the television who were able to share their love of science with light and great comedic timing.
The show was quirky, fresh, and whilst not always laugh-out loud funny, an enjoyable show. The recurring sketch encouraged the most laughs - the innocent punchline of Tim McNaught’s Mr X character, in his absurdist rage, trashing the stage whenever a reference to the letter X creeped into a sketch (set to the song “X gonna give it to ya”).
The show was well balanced with its incredibly talented team. Interspersed were videos by brilliant video director, Bruno Dubosarsky. The short videos had variety and were punchy in their execution. The show also boasted a gifted team of dancers, with visually stunning choreography and striking coordination.
Each show concluded with a rock opera detailing the story of Charles Darwin and his loyal best friend Lumpy. The jokes didn’t always land, but the energy of the cast was infectious, and managed to compensate for some hit and miss sketch endings.
Whilst on the topic of the cast, the choreography and vocals were flawless. Clearly the uneven benches in the Chemistry Lecture theatres hadn’t crippled the cast, with the parody of rolling in the deep with rolling the Dungeons and Dragons D20 die stealing the show. Also SURGfm’s very own Steph Ryan (from Flaw and Order on Mondays 1pm) rapped and it was incredible.
Directors Davis Murphy and Tim Andersen strung together a fantastic show, which was not only funny, but charming and bursting with talent.
I have no idea whether Backyard Science is still running, but I will definitely be at science revue next year.