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Review: Cockroach Tour at the Science Museum

Published 1 February 2011

After a winter of torturing a plethora of Z-list ‘celebs’ in the Australian Outback, a certain group of creepy crawlies are about to descend on the capital’s Science Museum this spring. Cue: the mighty cockroach!

But before you cancel that impending visit to the Science Museum, fear not – for the museum are asking the (human!) public to don beautifully-realistic cockroach costumes for a tour around the South Kensington attraction, with a curious insect take on the human race and its interaction with science and technology.

The Cockroach Tour – a collaboration between the Science Museum and Danish art collective Superflex – and part of the museum’s Climate Changing series – aims to highlight the effect of the human race on the world by way of exhibits in the Energy Hall, Making the Modern World and Exploring Space galleries. Recurring themes include space & time, and as head cockroach tour leader puts it, ‘burning things.

The cockroach costumes, provided by the museum, have been lovingly designed by Emma Jorn and Sabine Storm – in collaboration with Esben Horn – and are amazingly life-like. An initial run of the tour triggered much hilarity and bemusement from unwitting visitors; some clamouring for their cameras with one excited child tugging erratically at his dad’s sleeve: ‘Dad, can I be a cockroach, pleaseeee?’

Having gone on a tour, I would say that the whole affair is unintentionally aimed at the kids. One can expect to wave their antennae and hiss at their fellow cockroaches in greeting to one another as well as startle human visitors from the top of the museum in the Atmosphere Gallery. But for the adult who is willing to let go and shed some sensibility for an hour or so, the tour still delights, with the costumes and visitor reactions alone providing much entertainment. A somewhat thought-provoking tour, the Cockroach Tour is especially recommended for kids, both big and small!

To celebrate the launch of the Cockroach Tour, the museum is offering one person and three friends a place on a tour on either Saturday 12th/Sunday 13th February. The competition winner will be given a Flip camera to use solely during the tour to film their experience. An edited version of the filmed content will then be presented in the form of a neat video for the winner to keep. To enter, e-mail the word ‘cockroach’ to onlinemarketing@sciencemuseum.org.uk by 5:00 PM on Tuesday 8th February 2011. Best of luck!

The Cockroach Tour at the Science Museum
Location: Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD
Tour Dates & Times: Every Saturday and Sunday until December 2011
Price: Free (to book your place on an upcoming cockroach tour, please call 0870 870 4868)
Website: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/cockroachtour