Museums Showoff’s 50th gig! LINE UP ANNOUNCED

O M G!

It’s our 50th show!!!

Come along and help us celebrate 10 years of museum-y fun, intrigue and insights!

This will be our last show for the foreseeable future. We are working on new ideas. More info to come soon.

Join us on Tuesday 26 April, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will entertain and astound you! Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee), get one from We’ve 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:

Subhadra Das – Way back in 2012, when I performed the opening set of the first-ever Museum Showoff, I had just started my dream job of being a museum curator, working with the Science Collections at University College London. Ten years on, I’m going to use my time at this momentous 50th show to reflect on the things I have done, and to show off some more: expect nine career highlights in nine minutes!

Claire Mead – The tale of one museum professional falling in love with the unbearably niche subject of sword lesbians during lockdown. May contain women’s history, LGBTQI heritage and many thoughts on how arms and armour collections and programming can benefit from new inclusive perspectives from unexpected angles…of attack.

David Hingley – The Museum of Forward Planning team are enjoying a post-pandemic boom. Filled with optimism, vague holding statements about content, ‘doing less, with more, more often’, and passionate about our ‘look after yourself’ well-being course. Welcome to your induction.

Claire Madge – The Highs and Lows of a Museum Blogger – This year I celebrate 10 years of blogging about museums as Tincture of Museum. It is time to look back over the memorable moments of writing nearly 350 blog posts. Famous faces, unusual places and the perils of taking yourself too seriously will all feature as I condense the last 10 years into 9 minutes of highs and lows. 

Nick Clarke – £8000 in 18 months. The pandemic put a stop to National Jazz Archive fundraising concerts, but to everyone’s surprise sending out a smart sales leaflet with our newsletter offering books that had been donated to the Archive has proved to be a great alternative way to raise money and find new homes for 1200 books. Hear how we did it, what lessons we learned, and find out if you too could set up such a scheme.

Hannah Whyte – Museum worker and artist/writer Hannah Whyte waxes lyrical about her love for documenting, as well as for the people who document (diarists, zinesters, and museum nerds). She discusses the affections and tensions between different means of documentation, exploring why museums might be perceived as haughty institutions in comparison to the scrapbooks and fanzines that are made from much the same passion. Her talk is informed by her work for the Cartoon Museum, a small museum espousing reams of ephemeral material, including zines, doodles, and other lo-fi paper memories.

Steven Franklin – TikTok. The Home of Gen Z; ring lights; trending dances; and now The National Archives! The Official Archive of the UK Government – keepers of almost 1000 years of history – has transformed itself into fulltime TikTokers. So, if you’d like to get a sense of how we’ve achieved this remarkable transformation, and the rationale behind it, this is the talk for you!

Holly James Johnston/Orlando – By day, Holly James Johnston is a researcher and programme coordinator. By night, Holly is known as Orlando, the dandyish drag king known for his foppish looks and mincing moves. As Orlando, Holly has found new ways to combine public programming with drag king performance – demonstrating how museums can benefit from alternative forms of creativity.