Museums Showoff, Jan 24 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


We’re back for 2017!

We’re kicking off the new year with another incredible line up of top museum talent. Join us on Tuesday 24 January, downstairs at The Phoenix , where our brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and amaze you. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p booking fee), get one here:

Strutting their museum-y stuff on stage will be:

Naomi Paxton – your compere for the night, Naomi is a performer and an academic. Her ‘portfolio’ career thus far has included acting, comedy, puppetry, magic and lots and lots of suffrage theatre. Find out more:

Sacha Coward – Scaring Children Sh*tless! Is it ok for museums to scare kids? But what if it makes them lose control of their bodily functions?! Sacha Coward (ex child scarer and current social justice warrior wannabe at the National Maritime Museum) will spill the beans on why scaring children can be a good thing but can get a bit… messy…

Erica McAlister – Dead flies are the best flies? In Life and Death flies are the best species on the planet and I work with the best collection to highlight this FACT. Even in death, the four million flies in the collection are working to save your planet!

The Queer Cabinet Brigade – Why is queer history still closeted in filing cabinets? Members of the Queer Cabinet Brigade present fabulous tales from queer history and dreams + schemes for an LGBTQI+ history museum in London.

Claire Madge – My alter ego, Tincture of Museum, will be giving a 9 minute light hearted look at what autism is and explaining why autism and museums are the perfect fit given a little time and effort.

Mark Taylor – Are people who don’t go to museums waiting for the sector to bring them into the light? I’ll use national-level data to show that museums’ diversity problem is much worse for the museums than it is for the people are trying to reach.

Fiona Candlin – I’ll be talking about spending £1million on devising maps of UK museums from 1960 until now (and how I managed to get the cash!).

The National Archives – In 1895, Oscar Wilde was found guilty of gross indecency for his relationship with Alfred Douglas, and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour. We’ll be performing a short play that brings to life the words of Oscar Wilde and his supporters – all taken directly from the trial and prison records in The National Archives collection.

George Eksts – I’m a photographer at the V&A and an artist using digital media. I’ll be talking about how a museum could make 3D digital copies of objects, and how an artist might use and adapt these as part of their practice.

Museums Showoff, Nov 22 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hot on the heals of our STORMING first gig of the season, it’s time for MORE SHOWING OFF!

We’ve lined up the creme de la creme of museum talent to reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Join us on Tuesday 22 November, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will astonish and amaze you. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p booking fee). Get one here:

Strutting their museum-y stuff on stage will be:

Gregory Akerman – the least working man in show business and one time employee of the science museum, Gregory will take your hand and guide you through this evening’s festivities. Gregory’s shows have acquired over 50 stars (the distribution of these is of little importance) and he’s been on the radio and everything, so you’re in safe hands!

Kristin Hussey – Looking for Victorian eyes in the medical museum. Yep, it’s about what it sounds like. The Victorians were obsessed with their eyes, but when I went to museums to research the topic for my PhD, I was at a loss. Where did all the eyes in museums go? Were they ever there in the first place?

Katie Childs – Three tweets a week, firearms and a horse vertebrae in the shape of John Wesley: influencing Government policy. NMDC represents the leaders of the UK’s national collections and major regional museums, and it is Katie’s job to find ways to influence Government policies which affect museums. In her set, she share her influencing ideas.

James Lattin – Dr James Lattin will provide an update on the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge’s first ever tour of North America, including theories around the Flat Earth and New England’s largest toothbrush.

Melanie Malherbe – A behind the scenes glimpse into the making of a nail-biting 10-part conservation mini series. The series tracks the conservation of a Romano-British Cinerary urn to get it ready for an long term international adventure.

Adrian Steel – The Postal Museum is a place with a past… and an exciting future, including its own railway! Journey with me from one to the other, voting on a series of choices presented along the way.

Anna Stothard – I’m a novelist and a hoarder of autobiographical possessions, fascinated by the art of telling stories using objects. I’ll be reading from my new novel, The Museum of Cathy, which is set over twenty four hours in a natural history museum about a young woman who curates a museum of her own life.

Kevin Gosling – Three years ago, on Benjamin Britten’s hundredth birthday, the musical world threw the biggest party ever seen for any composer. Kevin Gosling sums up the things he learned as Communications Director for Britten 100, based at the centre of the whole global shindig: the Red House in Aldeburgh.

Simon Watt – I’ll be talking about art, psychology and working out exactly what is wrong with our audience.


Museums Showoff, Oct 18 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


It’s time to kick off  another season of museum-y fun, and omg, what an incredible show we’ve got for you! Join us on Tuesday 18 October, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and astound you. Doors open 7pm,. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p booking fee). Get one here:

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

Gregory Akerman – Everybody’s favourite esoteric comic, the elusive, enigmatic, effervescent comic Gregory Akerman, shall shepherd us through this wonderful evening. He has written this – he is excited.

Eddie Johnston & Ben Whittle – This evening marks the debut performance of “Explainers! The Musical: A Story of Life and Learning”, the new musical extravaganza from Whittle and Johnston. Marvel as your two stars attempt to cram cumulative eight years of experience in museum education into less than 10 minutes, covering all your favourite musical tropes as they do!

Sally James and Ella Hewitt – Transforming an empty Georgian house with a confusing history into an edgy new visitor attraction. With no set visitor route or red rope, boot sale finds on display, and restored rag rolled paint schemes, Rainham Hall is not your typical National Trust property.

Charlotte Hopkins – Horror in Greater London Council Film Censorship files! I’ll delve into the London Metropolitan Archives to find out was deemed ‘horrific’. Be strong, as this archive story promises to, “offer no relief, hope of remedy, or escape.” Starring Dracula, Frankenstein and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre amongst others. Enter in to the Dark Eyes of London.

Claire Haggerty – I’ll be speaking about my experiences working as a team leader in a busy disability access department. I’ll also talk about my Masters thesis looking into disability access in heritage settings and how that provision is planned for according to different audience needs and operational restrictions.

John Kannenberg – The Museum of Portable Sound brings the culture of sound to the world, one listener at a time – literally, as you have to make an appointment for a private tour. I’ll be talking about the Museum’s collections, playing some of its sounds, and revealing why this museum is not an app – it’s an experience.

Catherine Jones – I really love LEDs in the Science museum! I’ll talk about how I turned Lightning data, LEDs and anti static bags into a sculpture for a secret art exhibition.

Holly Parsons – How do you create a successful work force development programme? I’ll tell you about my experiences of the Royal Pavilion and Museums’ programme.

Bhavani Esapathi – Bhavani Esapathi Co-Directs MOOCs on Arts Management at The Goethe-Institut whilst having founded a health startup jointly funded by Innovate UK & Arts Council England called The Invisible Labs. Proudly unemployable but having worked with numerous museums & galleries across Europe, Bhavani will be talking about ‘how to make shit happen’ within the museums sector in an age where all of us are overcoming financial challenges in the arts.


Museums Showoff, May 24 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hooray! The sun is out, the birds are singing, the sky is blue and it’s time for more museum-y fun!

We’ve lined up the creme de la creme of museum talent to reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects.

Join us on 24 May 2016, where our brilliant performers will astonish and amaze you. For this show we’ll be at Cafe 1001, 91 Brick LaneDoors open 7pm, with the gig starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 – get yours here:

Taking to the stage in all their museum-y glory will be:

Naomi Paxton – your MC for the night, Naomi can act, juggle, tell jokes and write academic papers, sometimes all at once! Check out her work at

Katherine McAlpine – All museums have got slightly cringeworthy euphemistic terms for the people they’re trying to get through the door. But what about the people who are already here? I share some observations of my favourite audience groups who visit the National Maritime Museum, from clock botherers to right-on leftie families.

Tim Dunn – Drunk in Museums; Drunk Aboard Steam Trains. Tim Dunn takes us on a drink-along whistle-stop tour of places he half remembers through the medium of receipts and tweeted selfies.

Daniella Hadley – How do you squeeze a bizarre assortment of museum and heritage roles into just a 9 minute set? Well, let’s find out! From Bubbles to Obama, I’ll be sharing highlights from my time in the sector

Danny Garside – Danny is a researcher at UCL, exploring how museums use lighting. What is the ideal museum lighting? What do the numbers mean? How do we light whilst limiting damage? Danny will answer none of these questions and more…

Katie Birkwood – John Dee might be Tudor England’s most (in)famous cult figure, revered and reviled as a scholar, courtier, magician and more. At the Royal College of Physicians we’ve uncovered the man behind the myth using books that Dee himself once owned: find out how.

Elisha Mason – Unexpected mummified feet, duplicate Santas and the Great Jam Heist: just some of the things I’ve experienced as a museum trainee. I’ll be sharing some of the weird, wonderful and colourful moments I’ve had so far in the mad world of museums, and why now more than ever I’m sure I want to spend the rest of my life working in them.

Sara Wajid – I’ll be sharing highlights from my adventures smashing the museum patriarchy, including surviving feminist leadership boot camp with 20 overachievers and how to keep a straight face when Shami Chakrabarti makes you cheer for Tampon Day.

Adam Koszary – What do you do when you find a freshly dead mouse in a Victorian mousetrap, itself a museum object? Like any sensible museum, you put it on the internet and go viral. Let me walk you through the Museum of English Rural Life’s 15 minutes of global fame.


Museums Showoff, April 5 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hooray! It’s spring! Soon there will be sunshine and blue sky and flowers…and more top class museum-related entertainment!

Join us on Tuesday 5th April at The Slaughtered Lamb where the crème de la crème of museum folk will entertain, intrigue and amaze you. Doors open 7pm. Tickets are £5, get one here:

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

Gregory Akerman – Everybody’s favourite esoteric comic, the elusive, enigmatic, effervescent comic Gregory Akerman, shall shepherd us through this wonderful evening. He has written this – he is excited.

Aditi Anand & Emily Miller – How do you start a museum from scratch…about a politically charged topic…in a time of museum cuts? We’ll tell you about the roller coaster ride of a museum start up and the uncertain but exciting future of The Migration Museum Project.

Sacha Coward – Royal Museums Greenwich just celebrated its first ever LGBT history month and we did it in a big way! I want to talk about how amazing this was and share some of my experiences including; Bestiality as a topic for children’s workshops, how to use a Viking horn she-wee and the horror of squid mouth-impregnation…

Tom Underwood – Come and hear how London Campaign Against Arms Trade uses Thomas the Tank Engine costumes, homemade zombie masks, cardboard drones and plastic scythes to protest against the arms trade’s sponsorship of museums in the capital.

Becky Hogg – Becky will deliver a one-woman show exploring her experience of trying to break into the museums sector in a paid capacity. Having recently completed a course entitled ‘Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum’ through FutureLearn, Becky is determined to apply her outsider skills to working in museums. Using anecdotes from her experiences, this performance delivers a satirical view of the meaning and ethics behind ‘free labour’ in the art world.

Alex Jackson – As trainees we’re known as the babies of the museum sector, but what do actual babies have to say about museums? I’ll be sharing some hilarious, adorable and down-right inspirational thoughts straight out of the mouths of babes!

Sara Huws – When the new women’s museum on Cable St opened last year, none of us were expecting the whole thing to be devoted to Jack the Ripper. This is the story of how we decided to build something better: the East End Women’s Museum.

Tim Dunn – Drunk in Museums; Drunk Aboard Steam Trains. Tim Dunn takes us on a drink-along whistle-stop tour of places he half remembers through the medium of receipts and tweeted selfies.

Verity-Jane Keefe – The Mobile Museum: An itinerant Museum. A Lending Library. A collection. A public programme. A filmwork. A series of publications. 12 housing estates. 1 London Borough. An ambitious, multi-strand art project conceived, developed and delivered by artist Verity-Jane Keefe is being delivered across the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. She will share images, thought processes, concerns, desires and future plans from the Mobile Museum.


Museums Showoff, 2 Feb – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

We’re back for 2016!

Let’s have more museum-y fun!

We’ve lined up the creme de la creme of museum talent to reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. And we’ve got the first of our new compères!

Join us at The Slaughtered Lamb on 2 February 2016, where our brilliant performers will astonish and amaze you. Doors open 7pm, with the gig starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 – get yours here:

Showing off their museum-y amazingness will be:

Naomi Paxton – your MC for the night, Naomi has an eclectic career so far – from acting in the West End to shadow puppetry in rural Romania via a bit of light juggling. She also regularly performs at comedy, magic and cabaret nights as Ada Campe. Naomi is also an academic, with interests including suffrage plays and theatre and poverty.

Rosie Clarke – Since 2012, Culture24 have led Connect! – a unique competition where museums can win thousands of pounds and the chance to work with a top contemporary artist on their Museums at Night festival events. From mass nudity to ocean plunges to a deluge of clocks, I’ll share some of the bizarre highlights from this project, and explain why you should pitch for an artist in 2016!

Dea Birkett & Rebecca Mileham – Stand well back, writers Dea Birkett and Rebecca Mileham are about to raid their vaults of terrible museum text and reveal stinkers from all over the world. From labels that are too long and boring to panels that are basically meaningless, they ask how museums get away with it.

Sian Toogood – Do you want to fall 10 metres into a pit filled with  60,000 balls or erect a 38 tonne crane to protect Ben Stiller’s hair? Well if you do then Sian Toogood can help, but only if you want to film it and ONLY if it’s at the British Museum.

Thomas Flynn & Jonathan Beck – Everyone’s talking about 3d scanning, but isn’t it just an expensive fad? Jon and Tom will talk about some cheap accessible methods for turning the physical into the virtual and will give the low down on two projects that put the scans to use – Scan the World’s crowd-sourced archive, and Museum in a Box, which gets objects out of museums and into people’s hands.

Charlotte Hopkins – From the Importance of Being Sexy to Vortex, the Greater London Council Film Censorship files at the London Metropolitan Archive are anything but dull. I’ll provide highlights from the files of these lesser known films that were banned or censored for London audiences in the 1970s. As the Director General said: “The arts are sometimes intended to be disturbing, not reassuring, and what is intended to disturb may sometimes give offence.” Be prepared to be shocked, surprised and amused.

Jenny Blay – Help! I’ve fallen in love with my project plan template. I work at a Museum Learning School in Slough and it is my secret weapon in a world of PPPs, EBIs, HAs and Progress 8.

Megan Gooch – My name is Megan and I’m addicted to coins! But why coins? What is it about small change that holds such allure? What could possibly be so good about coins that I have devoted a sizable portion of my life so far to them? Come along, and I will induct you into the mysterious and amazing world of numismatics where the love of money is not the root of all evil.

Steve Rawlings – A talk on how one mobile game was written before being broken up into ten fully functioning museum apps. I’ll tell you how game technology was employed for the museum experience, what design decision were made, and how it is being developed further.

Museums Showoff, Nov 24 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

It’s November, the clocks have gone back, it’s raining and there is the impending doom of terrible secret santa presents at the office party.

But never fear! We have lots of museum-y fun to cheer you up!

Join us on Tuesday 24 November downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb where ten top museum people will reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Doors open 7pm, for a start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 (+50p booking fee) and you can get one here:

Strutting their museum-y stuff on stage, will be:

Steve Cross – your compere for the evening, and a man with an extensive collection of checked shirts.

Jason Webber – The British Library saves all of the UK Web space. Yes, ALL of it and if you think that you have a big collection, we are adding two billion new things every single year! Apart from wowing you with big numbers I will show that we have answered the really BIG questions in life, such as ‘who is best: cats or dogs?’ and ‘did Steve Jobs travel through time to invent the iPhone?’

Esther Redhouse White – Esther guides tours at Highgate Cemetery. She’ll be talking about bodysnatching, bread, and a few of her favourite graves.

Jonathan Schifferes – Where in Britain has the most heritage? How could you measure this fairly? Hear from data nerd Jonathan Schifferes (the RSA) and win a prize if you can suggest the most amazing data source for next year’s Heritage Index.

Emma Smith – I am the exhibition registrar for Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age at the Science Museum. I’ll be giving behind the scenes insights into the logistical challenges of transporting large spacecraft from Russia to the Museum in London.

Bente Pedersen, Adam Bencard & Karin Tybjerg – Something old, something new, something bottled, something blueSiamese twins and blood from biobanks. How do you make an exhibition about how medicine makes knowledge out of bodies? We’ll talk about “The Body Collected” at Medical Museion, Copenhagen.

Gregory Akerman – What do creationism and Jack the Ripper have in common – they are both subjects of controversial museums in England. For your entertainment, Gregory has gone to both museums and asked them about each other. Perhaps a creationist’s view of a Jack museum and a Ripper enthusiast’s view of a creationist museum will shed some light on these subjects (probably not, but it could be good fun).

James Lattin – Dr James Lattin, curator of the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge, will introduce the recently discovered Judley Bequest, and some different histories of the English country house.

Nick Harris – A live performance of the podcast Nick hasn’t made yet! Nick really wants to make a podcast about the British Museum, and the Museum actually agreed. In an ideal world, he’d just take an audio recorder to the pub and dump it on iTunes. That’s not allowed, so now he actually has to make one…help???

Dana Kovarik – In 1912, University College London received a gift of a collection of phenological busts that had been the life’s work of Robert Noel, an English phrenologist who worked predominantly in Bohemia. These heads are currently housed in UCL Museums Teaching and Research Collections and Noel’s story has been a relative mystery – until recently. Our recent research has uncovered a variety of publications by, and about, Robert Noel and his work in the field of phrenology which show he was a very key figure of the field’s popularity in the mid-nineteenth century.

Tony Harris – The AHFAP story: building UK cultural heritage imaging knowledge nodes. In April 1985, a group of photographers based in national museums in London, met with the aim to share knowledge and information. Thirty years later, the Association for Historical & Fine Art Photography has 300 members throughout the UK and Ireland. This is a story of how collaboration can and does benefit, especially in an age of continually evolving technologies and methodologies.