Hello Manchester! Are you ready for some top class museum-related entertainment? We’ve lined up the creme de la creme of Manucian museum talent to reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects.
Museums Showoff, the open mic night for all those who work in and love museums, will take place in the cafe at Manchester Art Gallery on Thursday 28 February. Doors open at 6.30pm. Book a free ticket via the Eventbrite page. Donations will be requested on the door for 42nd Street, who support the emotional wellbeing of children and young people. We suggest a donation of £5.
Taking to the stage for this extravaganza of wit and wisdom, objects and exhibitions are:
Steve Cross – compère and joke teller, Steve likes nothing more than to poke fun at the Science Museum.
David Carden – I sing banjo and ukulele songs inspired by the 18th and 19th century collections at Manchester Art Gallery.
Campbell Price – Mummies and Magic. Arguably, Manchester Museum’s most popular attraction is its Egyptian collection – but why do mummies repel us and intrigue us in equal measure? Egyptology curator Campbell Price recounts tales of the weird and the wonderful.
Jeni McConnell – I’d like to tell you about a group of enthusiastic young people who put together an intriguing evening guided walk with performances that connected objects and stories from Warrington Museum with the histories of the local streets. Their performances and readings captured their audience, linking local places and people and giving a unique view of a familiar place as they launched themselves into The Bright Unknown.
Gemma Angel – What connects 19th century tattooing, mercury and syphilis? I will explore some surprising links between geology, history of medicine and art through my doctoral work on the Wellcome’s collection of 300 preserved tattooed human skins at the Science Museum.
David Steele – I will be doing a stand-up comedy presentation on the subject of museums and the people that go to them.
Paul Cookson – I will do a selection of interactive performance poetry, based on my work at the National Football Museum. Audience participation is non negotiable!
Catherine O’Donnell – Catherine will be performing a taster of the Little People’s History Museum story Mr Ordinary’s Prize. Join in the adventure and get involved in the puppetry fun!
Helen Rees Leahy – Why Museums Make you Ill…The contemporary orthodoxy that links museums with happiness and well-being in its various guises overlooks an inconvenient historical truth: museums (can) make you ill. This talk recuperates the forgotten history of museum sickness, so that the next time you feel develop an ‘aesthetic headache’ or feel nauseous after an afternoon in a gallery, you’ll know that you’re in good company.
Stephen Howe, James Eagleton and Lee Wolstenholme – We are MOSI’s Singing Scientists. We play John Dalton, who developed Atomic theory into a science, Sir Bernard Lovell, famous for his work radio astronomy and the development of Jodrell Bank telescope and William Perkin, who, whilst trying to crack the chemical code of artificial Quinine from coal tar, happened across a way to create cheaper dyes. Three part harmony acapella singing from this trio tells the story of these great scientists’ achievements.
Ann French – You may think that there is only one way to display a textile, but conservators know different – especially when you’ve got to appease a curator! I’ll be musing on the ways I’ve created textile display systems to express a curator’s exhibition ideas.