Museums Showoff online, Sept 22 — LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HOORAY! We’re back for our 10th season of museum-y fun!

And OMG, just look at all the top museum talent we’ve got lined up!

We’ll be streaming our next online show at 8pm on Tuesday 22nd September! Our fabulous performers who will astound and amaze you with insights and intrigue about museums, archives and libraries, all through the medium of video.

Tickets are on a “pay what you can” basis (though Eventbrite requires a minimum of £1). Get a ticket from Eventbrite and we’ll send you a link to the stream on the day of the show.

In addition, we have 20 free tickets for people experiencing financial hardship. They are available via Eventbrite.

Taking to the screen for this extravaganza of wit & wisdom, objects & exhibitions will be:

Naomi Paxton – our magical, multi-talented MC who can regale you with stories of ducks, drama and DIY. Find out more about her all-round awesomeness here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Dan Vo – Dan Vo, project manager of the Queer Heritage and Collections Network supported by the Art Fund, presents Britain’s Got Queer Talent! Watch as Rachael Lennon from the National Trust, Dominique Bouchard from English Heritage, Justin Bengry for Historic England and a very special royal guest for Historic Royal Palaces go head to head to compete for the prize of being named queerest collection in the land. Remember, judges say is final and just wait until you see who wields the gavel in this rainbow competition! 

Becki Morris – Becki Morris has worked with a wide and diverse selection of organisations to support inclusive practice in sectors.  Today she will talk about DCN and EMBED and supporting the sector in the post lockdown society.

Monica Walker – Blood, Guts, and the Butchering Art!! Discover how the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret took the overwhelming challenge of a Pandemic lock down and created some of the most interesting digital experiences that a medical museum that deals with Victorian Surgery could come up with! Exciting? YES! Traumatic? Maybe! Entertaining…Absolutely!

Nick Harris – Imagine a less talented Homer, a much less talented Lin-Manuel Miranda and a comparatively talented Trojan Horse had a love child. And that love child just wanted to put a smile on people who work in museums faces, and that love child was called Nick Harris. That might be over hyping it slightly, but that’s pretty much what you’re getting.

Sophie Small – As an early-career museum worker, I spend a lot of my time swapping between different ‘hats’. It can be tiring, and confusing, but it’s also dead funny, so join me for a look at how on earth we make this work!

Ashton Carter – As social media is swamped with Fake News and Conspiracy Theories, Ashton Carter, Performer and Head Curator of Mr Punch’s Cabinet of Curiosities, will show some of his collection from this traveling mini-museum of strange oddities, haunted artefacts and natural wonders, which pose the question ‘What is real?’ to its visitors. All the spooky exhibits are either real, fake or real fakes, but their stories are made from 100% real words! Will you be able to spot the truth from the fiction (there will be a quiz!) and does truth matter anymore?

Ellie Miles – What do Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Susie Bubble and Jeremy Corbyn (but *not* David Bowie) have in common? They’re all curators who have featured in a collection I’ve been building over the last eight years. Does any of it matter? Not really. Is it fun to talk about? Maybe.

Magdalena Paczocha – Forgotten Force is an oral history project by the Piłsudski Institute of London telling stories of Polish women survivors of the Second World War who have been residing in the UK for the past seventy years. In this video, Danuta Pniewska, a project participant, offers her account of fortune telling and calling on the spirits.

Museums Showoff online, July 14th – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HOORAY! It’s time for more online museum-y fun!

We’re going to be streaming our next online show at 8pm on Tuesday 14th July! We’ve lined up some amazing performers who will astound and amaze you with insights and intrigue about museums, archives and libraries, all through the medium of video.

Tickets are on a “pay what you can” basis (though Eventbrite requires a minimum of £1). Many people who work with museums have lost income, and we don’t want that to stop you enjoying the show. Get a ticket from Eventbrite and we’ll send you a link to the stream on the day of the show.

In addition, we have 20 free tickets for people experiencing financial hardship. They are available via Eventbrite.

Taking to the screen for this extravaganza of wit & wisdom, objects & exhibitions will be:

Naomi Paxton – actor, magician, expert on suffrage plays and owner of an inflatable duck costume, Naomi will be your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Jenny Durrant – Disposals? Boring. Crap Amnesty? Yes! Let’s think differently, drink some tea, and see what happens…

Jo Dowding – Blue nylon PE shorts, itchy blazers, the stench of Lynx Africa in the air.  Just one memory belonging to your host Jo Dowding.  She shares her experience of providing a Memory Box service for over 10 years at Guernsey Museums.  Expect 100% practice, 0% theory and lots of lists.  

Owen Gower – If I had a pound for every time I heard the name Edward Jenner…” Dr Jenner’s House celebrates the life and legacy of a pioneering country doctor but, with the museum now closed by the very thing that’s suddenly made it extraordinarily relevant, we want the world to know about the real Edward Jenner.

Jen Bergevin – Museum Impact: A Bedtime Story – I spent four years thinking about, researching, and trying to better understand the impact that museums (especially ‘activist’ museums) have on their audiences and wider society. In this set I’ll share some of what I found including such profound insights as ‘people are complicated’, the 5 roles museums play in people’s stories of change, and three ingredients for fostering transformation in our spaces.

Jane Hoy – Two Welshmen in Rome: Jane Hoy tells the rags to riches tale of world famous sculptor John Gibson (Walker Art Gallery, Royal Academy et al) and his queer artist friends in 19th Century Rome.  Assisted by some handy ‘made in lockdown’ props.

John Kannenberg – For five years the Museum of Portable Sound was only open for one-to-one tours with the director, whose mantra was “This Museum Will Never Be An App!“ So how’s that panning out in a Covid-19 world? John Kannenberg talks us through the gamut of emotion, from existential panic to watching people listen online.

Dan Hicks – Dan will be talking about #MuseumsUnlocked. Full set details coming soon.

Museums Showoff online, May 19th – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Well this is exciting!

We’re going to be streaming our first ever online show at 8pm on Tuesday 19th May!

We’ve lined up eight amazing performers who will astound and amaze you with insights and intrigue about museums, archives and libraries, all through the medium of video.

Tickets are on a “pay what you can” basis (though Eventbrite requires a minimum of £1). Many people who work with museums have lost income, and we don’t want that to stop you enjoying the show. Get a ticket from Eventbrite, and we’ll send you a link to the stream on the day of the show.

NEW: we have got 20 free tickets for people experiencing financial hardship. They are available via Eventbrite.

Taking to the screen for this extravaganza of wit & wisdom, objects & exhibitions will be:

Naomi Paxton – actor, magician, expert on suffrage plays and owner of an inflatable duck costume, Naomi will be your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Laura Crossley – A tenuous and ill thought-through talk about the work of the National Football Museum through random lyrics in the song World In Motion by New Order.

MJ Hibbett – MJ performs a specially written song all about the best type of museum – a museum of one thing.

Hannah Mather – My set will be about the virtual museum as a place of learning. I’ll be looking at how museums are presented in video games, using Nintendo’s Animal Crossing Museum as an example of how people can engage with objects and pieces of art whilst playing a video game. 

Sushma Jansari & Nick Harris – In 2019, a small, grey sound booth exploded with colour and laughter when Sushma founded The Wonder House podcast with her colleague Nick Harris and brought in some of the most inspiring thought leaders to talk about race, empire and decolonisation. This new podcast series shares some of the most innovative contemporary approaches to decolonising museums so that we are all empowered and inspired to learn and experiment.

Abbie Brennan – Abbie reflects on the experience of looking for work in the museum sector and has a good old moan about it. Watch as she risks all hope of future employment by openly criticising the very industry she longs to work in – featuring choppy editing and an even choppier quarantine haircut.

Arran Rees – A fun little meander through the relationship between museums and memes – this talk, based on Arran’s PhD research calls for museums to start considering memes as cultural heritage and to collect them. 

Alison Child – Gwen Farrar drew funny pencil sketches of the adventures she shared with her lover and stage partner Norah Blaney in the 1920s. Alison Child found these carefully preserved in her archive and today looks at how doodling can add humour to a shared experience using similar stick drawings of life in lockdown by Cookie Arnone.

Charlie Cattel-Killick & George Oates – Find out more about what Museum in a Box is doing while every museum is closed. Join our quest for innovative thinking and work with collections!

Museums Showoff, March 24 — CANCELLED


I have decided to cancel this month’s Museums Showoff because of the situation with Covid-19. I would rather people didn’t put themselves at risk of infection through unnecessary rush hour travel and spending time in a crowded venue.

I am going to see if we can do some kind of online alternative instead and will let you know if I figure that out.

Either way, we should have a show on May 19th (fingers crossed risk from Covid-19 will be greatly reduced by then) so watch this space!

Apologies for the disappointing news.

Rachel

Museums Showoff, Jan 21st – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HOORAY!

We’re back for 2020! And omg have we got a brilliant line up for you!

Join us on Tuesday 21 January, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will entertain, astound and intrigue you! Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee), get one from We Got Tickets.

Taking to the stage for this extravaganza of wit & wisdom, objects & exhibitions will be:

Naomi Paxton – actor, magician, expert on suffrage plays and owner of an inflatable duck costume, Naomi will be your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Vicky Iglikowski-Broad – With finding ‘love’ now as easy as a swipe left or a swipe right, do we take our access to dating apps for granted? How did LGBTQ+ people strive to make romantic connections in the past? Join Vicky Iglikowski-Broad, from The National Archives, going beneath the sheets to discover what Grindr might have looked like if it was invented 100 years ago.

Frances Sampayo – Before visiting the Chelsea Physic Garden there are some things you need to know. How to pronounce it’s name for starters… and most importantly how to navigate yourself around a living collection which has the capacity to kill you!

Hannah Hethmon – In 2017, Hannah embarked on a project to collect the museum collectors of Iceland through her podcast, Museums in Strange Places. She traveled all over this strange island interviewing museum professionals and volunteers at some very…uh…unique museums, and this is your chance to meet some of the fascinating characters she met on her travels.

Dan Vo – LGBTQ+ Tours in Cymru!
Queer tours will kick off at Amgueddfa Cyrmu National Museum Wales this year! From ceramics to sodomy, the tours will show off the greatest hits of queer culture from Wales: from the Ladies of Llangollen to their modern emulators the youngest daughter of William Morris, May, and her very close companion and live-in bodyguard Vivian Lobb (read: they probably shagged lots). Come delight in stories of guys, gals, their numerous “very close” (and very intimate and very naughty) pals, and all the enbies in between.

Peter Barratt – Alice Hawkins, Suffragette. Peter tells of how great granny Alice was commemorated in centenary year through the unveiling of a statue of her, loaning the national heritage standard suffragette memorabilia to Parliament for the ‘Voice and Vote’ exhibition, supported the Leicester Museum service in a school visit programme and more! 

Claire Mead – Claire is a queer activist curator whose drag king alter ego Eugène Delacroissant is an artist-genius-director of all the museums, with 0% experience and 100% entitlement. Be dazzled and mansplained at about queering museums and dismantling their patriarchal hierarchy via performance, pop songs and parody!

Steven Saxby – “In the footsteps of Nathaniel Bryceson” is a showcase of my year following the 1846 diary of my ancestor, visiting the places he wrote about, researching the people and experiences of a 19/20 year old in Victorian London, and comparing them to life in the capital today.

Danielle Thom – Trade unions are just for grumpy men in sheepskin coats, warming their hands over braziers, right? Wrong! Danielle is a curator at the Museum of London, and chair of the museum’s trade union branch. Come and find out about their recent strike, the power of collective action, and why museum workers should bother with joining a union.

Museums Showoff, Nov 19 — LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HOORAY!

It’s time for lots more museum-y fun, and omg, have we got an AWESOME line up!

Join us on Tuesday 19 November, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will entertain, astound and intrigue you! Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee), get one from We Got Tickets.

Showing off their all round museum-y awesomeness will be:

Naomi Paxton – actor, magician, expert on suffrage plays and owner of an inflatable duck costume, Naomi will be your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Zeynep Kussan & Matt Williams – Zeynap and Matt from the Curating London team at the Museum of London are spilling the tea about the projects they’ve been working on over the last year. Curating London is a four year contemporary collecting and community engagement programme where Londoners have their say!

Sarah Jaffray – Sarah is tired of the blockbuster museum show formula and how it reinforces western, patriarchal notions of genius. She’ll share how a drawing project with contemporary artists has challenged and changed the stories of ‘Old Master’ art in the collection of the British Museum, impacting the ways its curated and exhibited.

David Hingley – Surely front of house teams have time to do … just one more thing? They’re only standing around with radios after all. Find out why we are sometimes stressed, always busy, and can feel like the donkey in Buckaroo at times.

Alfie Meek – I will be talking about my time as a trainee at two London museums and how I have dealt with the wired and wonderful world of museum work. From shaking ambassadors hands to dealing with a colleague that has refused a dukedom.

Mari Takayanagi – In 2018 Parliament celebrated ‘Vote 100’, the centenary of votes for (some) women – one of the most important anniversaries in our democratic history. Mari reflects on the busiest year of her life, in particular the challenges and opportunities in delivering a major public exhibition with historic objects in a 900 year-old hall, under the glare of media attention.

Eddie Johnston – What I learned working in museums for seven years (and not getting as far as I hoped). It’s a classic story of boy leaves university, boy gets job in museums, boy works there for seven years and then leaves the sector. But did he learn anything from this? Eddie will talk through his highs and lows working with visitors at national museums, as well as sharing some super secret, but legally safe, behind the scenes stories.

Sacha Coward & Amy Jefford – Medi-QUEER-val Re-GAY-ssance! Two queers walk into a pub to discuss genderbending monks and sodomy in Game of Thrones…Amy and Sacha have been chatting about starting an exhibition on LGBTQ+ experiences during the Middle Ages with the support of the Queer Britain project. Join us for a whirlwind tour of medieval queerness and laugh at the way people used to draw unicorns!

Museums Showoff, Sept 17 — LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hooray! We’re back for MORE MUSEUM-Y FUN!

We’re kicking off our 9th season with an incredible show packed with top museum talent.

Join us on Tuesday 17th September, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee), get one from We Got Tickets.

Showing off their all round museum-y awesomeness will be:

Naomi Paxton – she acts, she does magic, she’s an expert on suffrage plays AND she’s your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Laura Hutchinson & Binita Dave – Lights, camera, EXECUTION! Getting BE-HEAD of the filming game with top tips from the Tower of London.

Vernon Rapley – I’ll be enthralling, intriguing or most likely horrifying the audience, by exposing the level of security surveillance made possible by modern technology. I’ll ask the audience to consider the balance between protection and intrusion and when the line is being crossed?

Tom Hopkins & Louise McAward-White – Fair Museum Jobs tackles the good, bad and WTF of museum recruitment. Join Tom and Louise for a journey into the confusing and inconsistent heart of the jobs market; and find out who’s in, who’s out and what we can all do to make museum employment a better place.

Michael McHugh – Michael, heritage worker from the North of England will be talking about Museum SNAFUs (that’s Situation Normal All F***ed Up), Museum FUBARs (F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition) and how not to get ahead in Museums.

Elizabeth Dearnley – Elizabeth’s work on fairy tales and folklore sometimes takes her into the realms of the uncanny. Join her as she discusses some of the creepiest things she’s encountered in museums.

Scott Keir – Are museums catering for all visitors? Scott is increasingly intolerant of museum café menus clashing with their vision and inclusion policies, and has a smorgasbord of suggestions to digest.

Rosie Clarke – Culture24 describes their new Emerge Festival of London museum Lates as “Night at the Museum meets Glastonbury” – but how do you develop a whole new festival from scratch? Well, this one involves more than 40 venues, numerous partnerships and new ways of working. Rosie Clarke share some behind-the-scenes insights into bringing together London’s most electrifying new talent with its most iconic venues to delight a whole new audience!

Dan Hicks – Dan’s current Art Fund Headley Fellowship looks at the (in)visibility of colonial violence in the permanent displays of the Pitt Rivers Museum. In this contribution he will share some of the objects and stories that the project is revealing.

Museums Showoff, July 16 — cancelled

Some bad news! There will be no Museums Showoff on July 16.

This is the first time I’ve ever cancelled a show. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s one I needed to make. I am overloaded with work and trying to move flat, and I’m exhausted. Something had to give, and it was the show on July 16.

Museums Showoff will return on September 17! If you’ve got something to say about museums, libraries or archives and you’d like to take part, sign up on our Doodle poll. We’d especially LOVE to have sets from folk working in admin, retail, catering, security and technical roles.

See you all then!

Rachel