Meeting the wax people

For mother’s day this year, we went to check out the new Madam Tussaud’s wax museum at Darling Harbour.  There was a pretty good representation of people relevant to Australia and we had fun.  As we walked in we were met by Captain Cook and Arthur Phillip (who was just waiting for a high-five).

High-fiving Arthur Phillip

There was a room of political figures – who are surprisingly short.  One theme I found throughout the whole museum was that the figures were shorter and skinnier than I expected.  It is possible that because I usually see these figures on television, they are stretched out to be fatter than there are, and they seem bigger (possibly) because you assume people who are in positions of power to be tall… An odd assumption maybe, but I just naturally assume prime ministers to be taller than me, but apparently that is not the case.

Mum and a surprisingly skinny Bob Hawke
Mum giving an important address in front of Julia Gillard
Mum admiring the queen while she sits in her Majesty’s seat

Apparently the figures are eerily accurate.  They measure absolutely everything.  Although we all knew the figures were wax, it was so interesting to examine these people we have become familiar with one way or another up close.

David caddying for Greg Norman
Barry admiring Don Bradman

I really enjoying checking out Don Bradman, a man who I am too young to have seen in real life when he was in his prime.  To look at someone in their youth when they are now dead is quite eerie.  These wax figures somewhat act as intensely comprehensive photographs.

Dancing with Sandy

It was weird to feel a bit of a buzz when I saw a figure that I am so familiar with.  When I was little I watched Grease many, many times, and so to see Sandy standing on the Shake ride made me want to run up and dance next to her… except of cause she was made of wax.  It was still very cool though.

Playing bass for Jimmy Barnes

There were also really cool props to play with and “enhance the experience”.  I particularly enjoyed playing bass for Jimmy Barnes.  His stance was so cool.  I was outshone by Mum as a bassist for Jimmy Barnes though, she just had the right attitude.

Mum and Jimmy – his photo makes me laugh every time
Posing with Michael Jackson

It was also really interesting to see depictions of people I knew by their work, but not their faces.  To look Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson in the face was a fascinating experience.  I do wonder though, how they get the measurements for people who died a long time ago.  Surely a lot of it is speculation, as I doubt they would exhume their remains in the name of a wax sculpture… at least I hope not.

Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson
Linking arms with Einstein

When the sculptures are in a context (such as Einstein in front of a blackboard with E = mc^2 \,\! written on it) you feel as though their personality comes through a little.  Now I know this seems crazy, and it has been said that I have a wild imagination, but it’s pretty cool.

Checking out old Albert – he was quite short

The most excited I was the whole time was probably sitting at the table with Rove.  When I was in year 6, I was allowed to stay up until 10:30pm to watch Rove Live.  This is the latest I was allowed to be up all week and I looked forward to Tuesday nights with enthusiasm.  I felt like I was living the dream of my 11 year old self when I giddily sat down as a guest of the wax Rove McManus.

I was excited to be a guest of even the wax Rove

Some of the figures were posed in such a life-like way it seemed like they might come alive at any moment… this was definitely the case when I went to meet Bert Newton’s hug.

So good to see Bert

The range of people presented kept my attention, and the costuming and detail of the sets was amazing as well.

David visiting Home and Away
Admiring the extravagant Dame Edna
Audrey Hepburn was surprisingly little
A very tall Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
Grandma and Bruce Willis
Startruck by a very cool wax Johnny Depp

All in all, we had a lovely mother’s day and enjoyed the creepy and fascinating experience of Madam Tussaud’s wax works in Darling Harbour.  It’s a very interesting way to get a closer look at people we know from areas other than our personal lives, and in a very odd way, makes celebrities and historical figures more human.


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