Red lights, cameras, action as I sashayed down the red carpet facing the gauntlet of paparazzi into Madame Tussauds for a night of fun. HIJINKS has once again taken over a popular venue and in association with The Festivalists, they have transformed what is normally a daytime tourist venue into a magical after hours party. Guests not only have a chance to pose next to their favourite celebrities and famous people, but enjoy interactive activities, 5 pop up bars, live performances and a chance to win a prize for the best fancy dress. I had put on my best party dress trying to imitate a combination of Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon and Meg Ryan. I was relieved to see quite a few had also made the effort to don fancy dress.
Madame Tussauds is a unique party destination. The room is filled with happy, excited guests posing with the incredibly real looking wax celebrities, snapping photos or play acting their dream 15 minutes of fame. At the box office you will receive a gold token which entitles you to a complimentary Wine, Little Creatures Beer or Stoli Vodka Cocktail. With drink in hand, you move through to the History and World Leaders section first, where you can sit down at Captain Cook's desk and debate the names he chose for Australia's coastline or try on Ned Kelly's armour.
I was happy to see that I wasn't alone in dressing up, one's biggest fear in attending an event where they suggest fancy dress is that you will be the only one that makes the effort, leaving you standing out like a sore thumb.
There are interactive games throughout. Try your luck with a game of Wii Tennis, test your reach or test your hand eye co-ordination with the Batak machine. You can even see if you can putt a hole in one with Greg Norman.
There is so much to see and have fun with. Everyone is animated, enjoying the unique party atmosphere and of course taking lots of selfies with the wax figures. The party moves onto the Music Room where you can rub shoulders with your favourite musicians and singers.
We then moved on to the history room which has panels and information on how much work is involved in making the wax figures. Quite a lengthy process starting with 250 measurements of the head and body for the sculptors along with 180 photos of every angle, using different lenses and light. Metal tubing and wire is made into the skeleton to support the clay body. 170 hours to mould the figure which is made from beeswax and Japanese wax. Lots of pouring of wax and waiting for it to set. 140 hours to insert each hair by hand, around 5 weeks to complete that part then it is washed, cut and styled. A further 50 hrs to colour the head, oil paints are then used on the face to build colour and realistic texture. Freckles, moles, tattoos are painstakingly reproduced. The eyes are matched and made with acrylic resin, every small detail is duplicated, which is why they look so incredibly real. Even the teeth are made from casts from the real people. The outfits are often originals donated or the figure stylists and researchers will recreate an exact copy. The whole process is studied and critiqued by the production head staff before it is installed into the venue for viewing.
In this section you can buy more drinks, a late night snack of wok fried noodles or a Pulled Pork Taco, then move on into the TV Studio and Film Room. Have a chat with Oprah, mingle with all your favourite iconic movie stars.
There are more interactive games, flying over Sydney in the year 2025 in 3D virtual reality, catch up with your Marvel Superheros and take a Spiderman selfie before moving onto the A-List Room where the latest Ryan Gosling figure is on show along with other famous movie stars. You can buy some more drinks or get a spot near the stage for the Beyonce dance lesson by Diesel Darling, Big Spenders Dancers will swivel thier hips and break out into song, Nick 'The King' Nicolas as Elvis and Decoda Secret will entertain you as Marilyn Monroe.
The night was still young at 9pm, so quite a few were rocking on at the Deck Bar or one of the many great bars along Cockle Bay and Darling Harbour. I totally recommend you trying out the next Hijinks Sydney even which will be held on Friday 24 July this time at the Sydney Aquarium. The $25 per person entry fee includes a beer or vodka cocktail and what you can see a truly unique party experience.