Museums Showoff at the Bloomsbury Theatre, June 10 – MORE DETAILS

TICKET LINK

Museums Showoff, the cabaret-style night for all those who work in and love museums, will be at the Bloomsbury Theatre on Tuesday 10 June starting 7.30pm, where a stellar cast of museum talent will reveal what REALLY goes on in museums!

If you want to hear intriguing insights, get the low down on amazing projects and glean all the behind-the-scenes gossip, this is the show for you! Taking to the stage for this extravaganza of wit and wisdom, objects and exhibitions will be:

Steve Cross – former curator and your compère for the evening, Steve likes to demonstrate his love for museums by telling jokes and wearing silly t shirts.

Paolo Viscardi – Beyond the Walrus: A tale of rivalry, death, zombies and reconciliation in the secret world of the Horniman Museum’s stores.

Rosie Clarke – I’ll be telling stories about Swansea Museum’s connection to water, featuring Swansea Jack the lifesaving dog, and what happened when artist Amy Sharrocks persuaded the citizens to fall into the sea as part of her Museums at Night “I Want To Fall Day Trip”. I’ll be going to Swansea to follow what happens, but will I end up in the water myself?

Dan Schreiber – co-creator and producer of Radio 4’s Museum of Curiosity will tell us about imaginary museums.

Katherine Curran – “Heritage Smells or The Terrible Fate of Tropical Ken”. Delivered entirely in verse, this will be both a description of my research on the conservation of historic plastics and an account of the dreadful things that happened to a Ken doll who found himself in one of UCL’s laboratories.

Roald Dahl Museum storytellers – Wondercrump interactive regaling from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes by two of the very best storytellers from The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Previously described as ‘mad-cap’, ‘high-octane’ and capable of whipping the audience into a frenzy (OK, so most of them were eight years old…) it’s time to prepare to be Dahl-lighted!

Corrinne Burns – At the Science Museum we encourage visitors to leave comments about our exhibits. We get feedback from scientists, museum fans, critics and others… Tonight, I’ll take you on a nine-minute tour of some of the best!

Rebecca Mileham & Dea Birkett –  Sharpen your pencils, it’s time to bring an end to terrible museum text that’s long, boring or basically meaningless. Writers Dea Birkett and Rebecca Mileham share the latest examples from their collection of terrible museum text, and ask why we let museums get away with it.

Lucy Inglis – These are exciting times for museum visitor experiences! I’ll talk about my work with museums & galleries to create new events, including pub crawls debating the rise of philanthropy, LGBT history workshops and walks discussing eighteenth century identity.

Mark Carnall – Everyone who works in museums is in it together right? Sometimes art and science curators can seem worlds apart. Art is often synonymous with ‘culture’ but science museums are more popular with visitors. I’ll ask why can’t we just all get along and share the best of both worlds.

Tickets for the gig are £7 and are available from the Bloomsbury Theatre ticket website or in person at the box office (where there’s no transaction fee). All proceeds are going to Arts Emergency who offer mentoring, advice & support for 16-19 year olds from diverse backgrounds who want to do an arts or humanities degree … just the kind of qualification you need to work in a museum!

This gig is suitable for people aged over 16 years old.

Museums Showoff Manchester 2, May 29 – LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

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, and thanks to those lovely folk at the Institute of Cultural Practices we’re coming to a venue near you!

Museums Showoff, the open mic night for all those who work in and love museums, will take place in the Engine Hall at the People’s History Museum on Thursday 29 May. Doors open at 6.30pm. Entry is free, but donations will be requested on the door for our charity of the month. We suggest a donation of £5. Please note this show is suitable for over 18s only.

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

Steve Cross – your bespectacled compère and wearer of nerdy t shirts. He will tell jokes, muck about and try to keep things to time.

Catherine Robins – In June, Unlocking Ideas Worth Fighting For – a joint project between the People’s History Museum and Working Class Movement Library – will host a 24-hour hackathon. What, why and how are all questions we’ve been grappling with. As the event deadline looms I will be talking about the event to come and about finally having the answers to those questions. Well, *hopefully* having the answers – don’t want to jinx it.

Charlie Battersby – Fuzzy Duck are a creative agency who approach our work with museums and galleries like wide eyed and wondrous children, with curiosity, joy and daring. I’ll be talking about a recently completed project with the Manchester United Museum from the perspective of both a designer and mildly obsessive, impressionable and ultimately proud, life long United fan.

Irving Czechowicz – I’ll tell you about the unique  story of Maharaja the Asian Elephant who walked from Scotland to Manchester and ended up on the first floor of the Manchester Museum.

Jennifer Reid – Local singer Jennifer Reid will discuss and perform working class songs from Chetham’s Library’s nineteenth-century broadside ballad collection.

Angela Whitecross & Jennifer Mabbott – ReCycle Rochdale is a collaborative art project between Rochdale Pioneers Museum, artist Richard Dawson and a youth group in Rochdale exploring co-operatives and cycling, which will to mark the Tour De France passing through the borough. This result is a co-operative kinetic bike art sculpture, which will be part of our ‘Journey into Co-operative Cycling’ exhibition. This set will document the truly co-operative nature of this exciting project and showcase the final creation!

Alison Atkin – Out of Sight. How being alone in a room filled with brains at MOSI, severely craving the effects of caffeine, and one off-hand tweet resulted in a series of short stories.

Ingrid Francis – I’ll divulge some of the opinions I heard during my recent research into museums’ use of social media to encourage visitors to engage with collections.

 

Museums Showoff with M+H Show, May 14 – LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

It’s May! The sun is out, the sky is blue and we have a night of amazing museum-y fun lined up!

We’ve teamed up with with the folks at the Museums + Heritage Show for a special post-Show gig. Join us on Wednesday 14th May downstairs at the ArchangelKensington High Street, W8where our line up of top museum talent will entertain, intrigue and amaze you. Doors open 6.30pm. Entry is free, but we will be collecting on the door for our charity of the month. We suggest a donation of £5.

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

Steve Cross – your compère for the evening, keeping things to time, mucking about and poking fun at museums.

Stella Duffy & Sarah-Jane Rawlings – Arts and sciences, participants as activists and audience as makers – Fun Palaces offers all this and more. On October 4/5 this year 75+ Fun Palaces will pop up across the UK and internationally in museums, parks, libraries – wherever the community wants them. Tonight, as a taster – The 9 Minute Mini Fun Palace!

Matthew Ward – Broadcaster and edutainer, Matthew Ward, has suffered and died in ‘Horrible Histories’, and lived and thrived on history from childhood. Find out about the strange, silly and sinister experiences he’s had in museums and heritage properties.

Michele Fuirer – “Coming here has been very important for me because although I have lost so much language, I am learning to see”. I will describe a long term project for people with aphasia run by the community learning team at Tate Modern and show a short film made in which Michael Hussey describes some of the ways his experience has been transformed by looking at art.

Diana Pearce –  A presentation about the #FlashmobScience project which aims to highlight the scientific links of historic places/historic objects within a museum or organisation through talks, demonstrations and question & answer sessions. It will be fun, I am sometimes known to turn up in some sort of costume!

Stephen Wolstenholme – In Here Today, Obsolete Tomorrow, Stephen Wolstenholme tells how he is creating a mobile museum of obsolete technology in an ex-NHS vehicle.  So put away your touch screens, get nostalgic for your old gadgets, and hear about the challenge of designing, operating, funding and exhibiting a private, travelling museum.

Selina Pang – Getting Behind The Glass: the trials and tribulations of photographing iconic museum objects for our iPad app and how we’re using this tech to bring the museum to your gadgets. Includes genetically modified sheep, a space capsule experience and lots of nights at the museum. Let me take you on Journeys of Invention…

Chris Walker – From the mouths of babes; the outstanding reaction of schoolchildren to the new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. Just how fired-up do you think this age group can get about a battle 700 years ago? Let’s see…

Mary Godwin – A blatant promo for some of the South West’s museums, with a scientific twist.

Museums Showoff at the Bloomsbury Theatre! June 10th

Do you like museums?

Do you want to hear intriguing insights, get the low down on amazing projects and get all the behind-the-scenes gossip?

Well, we’ve got the show for you!

Museums Showoff, the cabaret-style night for all those who work in and love museums, will be at the Bloomsbury Theatre on Tuesday 10 June where a stellar cast of museum talent will reveal what REALLY goes on in museums!

These are just some of the acts who will be taking to the stage for this extravaganza of wit and wisdom, objects and exhibitions:

Paolo Viscardi – Beyond the Walrus: A tale of rivalry, death, zombies and reconciliation in the secret world of the Horniman Museum’s stores.

Katherine Curran – “Heritage Smells or The Terrible Fate of Tropical Ken”. Delivered entirely in verse, this will be both a description of my research on the conservation of historic plastics and an account of the dreadful things that happened to a Ken doll who found himself in one of UCL’s laboratories.

Roald Dahl Museum storytellers – Wondercrump interactive regaling from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes by two of the very best storytellers from The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Previously described as ‘mad-cap’, ‘high-octane’ and capable of whipping the audience into a frenzy (OK, so most of them were eight years old…) it’s time to prepare to be Dahl-lighted!

Corrinne Burns – At the Science Museum we encourage visitors to leave comments about our exhibits. We get feedback from scientists, museum fans, critics and others… Tonight, I’ll take you on a nine-minute tour of some of the best!

Rebecca Mileham & Dea Birkett –  Sharpen your pencils, it’s time to bring an end to terrible museum text that’s long, boring or basically meaningless. Writers Dea Birkett and Rebecca Mileham share the latest examples from their collection of terrible museum text, and ask why we let museums get away with it.

Lucy Inglis – These are exciting times for museum visitor experiences! I’ll talk about my work with museums & galleries to create new events, including pub crawls debating the rise of philanthropy, LGBT history workshops and walks discussing eighteenth century identity.

Rosie Clarke – I’ll be telling stories about Swansea Museum’s connection to water, featuring Swansea Jack the lifesaving dog, and what happened when artist Amy Sharrocks persuaded the citizens to fall into the sea as part of her Museums at Night “I Want To Fall Day Trip”. I’ll be going to Swansea to follow what happens, but will I end up in the water myself?

Mark Carnall – cheerleader for underwhelming fossils and curator of the Grant Museum.

Plus one more act to be announced!

Tickets for the gig are £7 and are available from the Bloomsbury Theatre ticket website or in person at the box office (where there’s no transaction fee). All proceeds are going to a local charity.

This gig is suitable for people aged over 16 years old.

Museums Showoff 12, Tues 1st April – LINE UP ANNOUNCED

Hooray! It’s spring! There’s sunshine and blue sky and flowers…and another night of amazing museum-y fun!

Join us on Tuesday 1st April, downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb 34-35 Great Sutton Street, EC1V 0DX, where ten brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and amaze you. Doors open 7pm. Entry is free, but we will be collecting on the door for our charity of the month, the Choir With No Name, which uses music to help homeless people get their lives back on track. We suggest a donation of £5.

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

Steve Cross – your compère for the evening, keeping things to time, mucking about and poking fun at museums.

Tim Dunn – Extreme Trainspotting: why the war-torn country of Sierra Leone really needed a railway museum.

Carla Valentine – It’s What’s Inside That Counts! A humorous look at death by foreign object insertion, using objects from Barts Pathology Museum.

Sam Fieldhouse – Archiving Music Without Any Music: an ex-teacher’s baptism into a world of well-meaning widows, opposing opinions and extensive ephemera.

Stacy Hackner – Postcards were an essential form of communication from the late 19th to mid-20th century. This was also the heyday of anti-Semitism, leading to the formation of this curious collection that’s in need of an appropriate home.

Mary Rose Gunn – I’ll be talking about Two Temple Place, London’s first exhibition venue dedicated to showcasing highlights from regional collections.

Dave O’Brien – What’s the value of museums? I’ll talk about how we value museums in public policy, how we use a range of ideas about value that we possibly shouldn’t and why we do this. There might even be some suggestions of how to make the value of museums a little bit clearer!

Jenni Fewery, Bryony Morgan & Christina Hink – Don’t Lose Your Head! A gruesome glimpse at the plaster cast of a murderer and the pseudoscience of phrenology.

Jon Ablett – Release the Kraken – from mythical monsters to a marvellously modern mollusc! A guide to what we know (and don’t know) about the giant squid, Architeuthis dux, and how museum specimens have increased our knowledge of this and other cephalopod species.

Martin Sach – Museums can be great platforms for artists. The London Canal Museum has considerable experience of hosting art shows, and Martin Sach will draw lessons from this experience from the museum perspective.

Museums Showoff Bristol, 20 March – LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

Hello South West England! Are you ready for some top class museum-related entertainment?

We’ve lined up the creme de la creme of the south-west’s museum talent to reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Thanks to those ace people at SW Museums Development Programme we’re coming to a venue near you.

Museums Showoff, the cabaret-style night for all those who work in and love museum, will be at The Grain Barge, Bristol BS8 on Thursday 20 March 2014, Doors open at 7.00pm. Entry is free, but we will be collecting donations on the door for Off the Record, who offer counselling & support to people under 25. We suggest a donation of £5.

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

Steve Cross – your compère for the evening: telling jokes, introducing acts and keeping things to time.

Laura Hilton – Laura Hilton is currently turning a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund into a shiny new Visitor Centre for the 150th anniversary of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. To avoid doing any additional  work, she is using this research to bring you tales of daring (or derring) do and desperation from the archives – with a bit of mythbusting, a world champion who was terrible at hide and seek, and a surprising amount about turnips

Nancy Heath – I’ll be taking an amusing and quirky look at the stories of scandal and bad behaviour of the St John family of Lydiard House. William Shakespeare said that “men’s vows are women’s traitors” and you’ll hear that the St John men were traitors indeed with our tale of mistresses, divorces and illegitimate heirs.

Richard Jaeschke – Busting the myth: how (almost) everything you know about conservation is wrong, what conservators really get up to and why you need to know!

Team SSGB – The many faces of Brunel: amid a sea of assumptions and misconceptions the SS Great Britain team set sail on a voyage of discovery to find the ‘real’ Brunel. Expect ‘riveting’ content!

Liz Neathey – It’s time for museums to take control to achieve sustainable futures. Find out about an innovative programme being delivered through South West Museum Development.

Janine Marriott – Life, death, murder, medicine and madness. All featuring in a whistle stop tour of creepy tales, burrowing badgers, crying kids and family fun at Arnos Vale with Janine Marriott, learning coordinator.

Mark Small – Red Lodge? What’s that? Where is it? Is it open? I didn’t know Bristol had a knot garden! Or an Elizabethan oak-panelled room! A brief introduction to the Red Lodge – who we are, where we are, what we are, and what we want to be in future.

Zak Mensah – Why open practices make Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives better. I think sharing is caring, so I’ll be talking about why I care so much about sharing what we do with digital technology across the service and in public.

Rebecca Clay – Do you remember when ACE told us we should recruit young, trendy ‘Arts Ambassadors’ to attend events unpaid, on behalf of our organisation, and we all laughed? Well they didn’t get it all wrong. I will be looking at the how to get the best out of the people who act as ambassadors for your organisation.

Anna Farthing – Kiss: A Story of Life and Death. Share a disturbing discovery from the Thackray Museum’s ‘Magic of Medicine’ exhibition and hear about the UK Medical Collections Group’s current ACE funded project, ‘From the Medicine Cabinet’.

Museums Showoff 11, Tuesday 4 Feb – LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

We’re back for 2014! It’s going to be ace! We’ve planned loads of gigs so that even more amazing museums people can tell us behind-the-scenes stories and incredible projects. AND we’ve got a fab new venue.

We’re kicking things off on Tuesday 4 February, downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb  34-35 Great Sutton Street, EC1V 0DX. Doors open 7pm. Entry is free, but we will be collecting on the door for our charity of the month, National Youth Arts Trust, which provides access to the performing arts for young people from non-privileged backgrounds. We suggest a donation of £5.

Lining up to astound, entertain and enlighten you with their tales from the museum world will be:

Steve Cross – a man who eats deep-fried gherkins for kicks.* He is also your compère for the evening: telling jokes, introducing acts and keeping things to time.

Kate Tyte – The totally unorthodox guide to museum archives! Featuring robots, Nicholas Cage, Indiana Jones and beards!

Liberate Tate – A love triangle: Tate, BP and us. What we love, what we hate, and why we want to Liberate Tate.

Nick Booth – I’m a curator at UCL where I look after the corpse of everyone’s favourite moral philosopher: Jeremy Bentham’s auto-icon. I’ll be talking about what being his curator is like, some of the work that involves and discussing some of the myths and legends that have grown up around him.

Lowri Jones – A day in the life of a Collections Storage Assistant. I’ll be talking about what moving 26,000 objects into a new building for the British Museum actually entails, and looking at some of the weird and wonderful objects that we have found buried in long-forgotten corners of the stores.

Erica McAlister – My desk is covered in maggots. My post contains maggots. My research often focuses on maggots. So often the focus of revulsion I will chat about what they are and why they’re so important. Fear not, I will bring along some of the NHM maggot collections and show how they have helped answer very important questions.

Phil Loring – Phil Loring, Curator of Psychology at the Science Museum, will describe how two extraordinary larger-than-life models of the brain have pursued, delighted, and tormented him over the past year and a half.

Natasha Powers – I’ll be using my 9 minutes to tell the story of the archaeological excavation which inspired a recent Museum of London exhibition. A tale of 19th century medical and scientific inquiry, and of two Williams, one a respectable clergyman, the other a resurrectionist with a formidable wife.

David Mentiply – We walked, and talked, our way to 26 museums in one day to raise money for Guide Dogs UK. Find out what happened in this whistle-stop talk about the Museum Marathon day!

Sarah Mahood – I’ll be talking about the Horniman Museum’s loans project Object in Focus. We loan to museums, libraries and others – what makes it easy to borrow our objects?

Dave O’Brien – What’s the value of museums? I’ll talk about how we value museums in public policy, how we use a range of ideas about value that we possibly shouldn’t and why we do this. There might even be some suggestions of how to make the value of museums a little bit clearer!

*Do not try this at home. Or anywhere else. Really. They’re disgusting.

Museums Showoff 10, Monday 2 Dec – LINE UP ANNOUNCED

Museum fans! Want to escape the winter blues? Keep out of the cold and the rain? Avoid boring office parties and actually have some FUN? You can do all those things by coming to see our INCREDIBLE line up of TOP MUSEUM TALENT who will entertain, intrigue and amaze you.

We’re back at The Black Heart, 3 Greenland Place, NW1 0AP on Monday 2nd December 2013. Doors open at 7pm. Entry is free, but we’ll be collecting on the door for our charity of the month, Arlington Futures, which aims to break the cycle of homelessness by providing training, employment and creative programmes. Your donations will support the art workshop. We suggest a donation of £5.

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

Steve Cross – your compère for the evening, keeping things to time, mucking about and poking fun at museums.

Nicola Scott & Rachel Harrison – 18 postcards, 6 weeks, 33 people… We’ll be talking about our Community Fieldworkers project at the Horniman Museum.

Subhadra Das – Curator of UCL Pathology Collections, Subhadra will be showing off one of the least show-offable collections in London. She’ll describe how UK law applies to human remains in medical collections, and asking: what does that mean for what you can and cannot see?

Richard Ashcroft – I want to have a little rant about museums which are all tell and too little show. I want to celebrate the austere and the odd, that challenge and confuse the museum’s audience, rather than welcoming and engaging them.

Holly Parsons – Holly, a museum studies graduate, talks about her experiences of volunteering in museums and difficulty getting a paid job. Will she get paid museum work in the end?

Natasha Stephen – How is a comet different from an asteroid and what makes a meteorite a meteorite? Nat Stephen delves into the NHM’s collections to show you something out of this world.

David Morgan – As an ex-Space Crew member and lover of museums, David’s going to talk about his museum frustrations.

Chella Quint – Adventures in Menstruating: Chella Quint takes us on a Period Positive journey through the history of feminine hygiene adverts from the 1920s through today using Duke University’s digital collection of historical ads. After 90 years of analysis in only 9 minutes, you’ll never have felt so fresh and dainty in your life.

Irida Ntalla – who’ll be talking about museums, interactivity and audience participation.

Gregory Akerman – museums are proper good – but what’s the point in them for us visitors? If it’s to learn from history then how can we be sure that what we are learning is history as oppose to the present day’s version of what history should have been (meaning we’re not actually learning history so much as what history should have been), or if every single thing ever led to this point then wouldn’t we kinda almost innately already know the history of all the stuff so render museums pointless? Watch Gregory tie himself in knots talking about this problem, the theory of things and other concepts he really doesn’t understand. But you know, with jokes.

Paolo Viscardi – Paolo Viscardi from the Horniman Museum will present an illustrated alphabetical guide to the 21st Century curator. Or – as he calls it – “How I explain my job to relatives at Christmas”.