Dr. Pam Rana & Tom Lang : Meatbags

By Colin FlahertyMeatbags

With a show about the human body they couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate venue than the Science Lab themed bar The Croft Institute. Taking us around the human body, Dr Pam Rana (an actual qualified medical doctor!) and Tom Lang (not a doctor!) described the various systems that make us tick. Through interesting facts, bizarre anecdotes and hilariously graphic analogies, we were educated as well as entertained.

This comedic lecture was an informal affair that almost belied the strong scientific basis of the show, making it clearly aimed at the lay-person not just the science geek. The crudely drawn PowerPoint slides added a home-made aesthetic and reinforced the light-hearted nature of the show.

There were a few eye opening tales of surgery and research that were in the ‘strange but true’ basket and plenty of bodily facts described using various pop culture references. Only a couple were cringe inducing so the squeamish needn’t be took worried. Puns were used at every available instance, some were impressive while others were suitably corny.

Rana was a ball of energy and came across as a cheeky child rather than a respectable doctor. Her onstage persona regularly got overexcited which forced Lang to rein her in.

Meanwhile Lang is a science communicator who has presented a number of comedy shows based on science. He acted as a sort of slightly reserved counterpoint to Rana but participated in a lot of the wackiness.

The pair worked well together on stage, bouncing off one another effortlessly. Interestingly all the heavy lifting of explaining the science wasn’t left to Rana, she and Lang alternated setting up jokes with facts while the other drove the punchline home. They introduced a sprinkle of mild comedic tension to add some spice but overall it was a breezy atmosphere.

If you are willing to navigate the alleyways of Melbourne, it’s worth taking a trip to the Croft Institute to see a brilliant show that’s informative and hilarious.

Meatbags is on at The Croft Institute until April 4.