Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres. 12 Mar 2017
Pounding one’s feet and flailing the arms to mimic fleeing dinosaurs is not one’s average arts activity. However there’s an Adelaide palaeontologist who has established a rock star side career under the performance name of Professor Flint and he whips his audiences right into action to demonstrate the dinosaur stampede of 95 million years ago.
The site of the fossilised record of this event is in Queensland and Professor Flint’s show is, indeed, about Australian dinosaurs. He summons them up on screen and sings them up in very pithy songs. They’re all foot-tappers and most of them require extensive audience participation. The Prof wants everyone paying attention and remembering. To that end, the chorus lines are epic. The dinosaur names become aural memes. There’s Minmi, Muttaburrasaurus, Diamantinasaurus Australovenator and, of course, the inevitable Aye Oh with which Flint punctuates his lyrics to give them the fun, sing-along spirit.
There are funny, silly-billy ratbag ways of singing dinosaur names. And don’t forget that “bones” has to be said with specific Scottish pronunciation.
Funny ditties they may seem to be but Professor Flint is skilled at weaving the serious scientific facts into the boppy lyrics. And his musical skills are not bad, either.
There are tunes, dances and even, let’s all join in a bit of a Scottish reel dance because Professor Flint, in his wee tartan Tam o’Shanter, is a Scots-born Australian dinosaur specialist. His great theme song is I want to be a Palaeontologist "digging rocks and bones", the chorus line climaxing in “living the dream”. It’s the dream job. And that’s the secret with the Flint show. It’s all about love of subject. For kids it is a future dream about loving the past. And Flint has cast himself as the classic mad scientist, peering over perilously perched reading glasses and bopping around in a loose white coat.
Oh, and it is not all dinosaurs. Among the megafauna he brings to musical life is Wonambi, the giant python. Ooh. Seven metres long. He marks the size on stage. Everyone makes snake gestures and shudders.
It’s a noisy and energetic hour of in-your-face fossil fun and song. At the end of the show, families are given vouchers for free downloads of Professor Flint songs. And, there is a very human stampede to get them.
When: 12 Mar
Where: Holden Street Theatres