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.

Vote for our charity of the year!

This season we have made some behind-the-scenes changes. We want to pay our producer, compère and technician a small amount, so we’ve decided to donate the rest of the money from our London gigs to a single charity throughout the year, instead of choosing a different charity each show. We’ve picked two of our favourite charities and we’d like you to tell us where the money should go. Please read about them and vote in our poll.

Doorstep Library – How well you read has a direct bearing on how well you do in life, yet the poorest families are less likely to have books or to read. Doorstep Library brings books and reading skills directly to homes in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas.

Shelter from the Storm – An emergency night shelter, completely free to guests, providing bed, dinner and breakfast for 44 homeless people every night of the year. Shelter from the Storm also supports its guests with housing, counselling and legal help.

UPDATE: The poll has now closed, and you voted for Doorstep Library!

poll results


Museums Showoff 20, Sept 29 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Good news! It’s September! Who cares if the skies are grey and it’s getting colder… WE’RE BACK!

It’s time to kick off a new season of museum fun and OMG, what an incredible show we’ve got for you! Join us on Tuesday 29 September, downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb, where our brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and astound you. Doors open 7pm. Tickets are £5 (+ 50p booking fee). Get one here:

Showing off their museum-y amazingness will be:

Steve Cross – compère, troublemaker and checked-shirt collector.

Maurice Davies – Poacher turned (stupid) curator. I spent quarter of a century at the Museums Association, provoking the museum sector, especially curators, documentation people and collection managers. In October, to my mild amazement, I’m taking up post as head of collections at a major London institution. Who should be more afraid – me or my new colleagues?

Anna Darron – Unexpected items in the bagging area! Not all exhibitions use historical collections. Anna will be taking a look back through the to-do and shopping lists from her time working on the Science Museum’s ‘Cravings’ exhibition. Find out what ingredients went into the mix, and how they’ve destroyed her Amazon search profile, possibly forever.

Russell Dornan – Ten museums in London joined forces on Instagram. What happened next will blow your mind! Possibly… Russell Dornan talks about the recent #MuseumInstaSwap project.

Joe Watson – The National Trust. Cream teas, the coast, and country houses, right? Wrong. Joe Watson escorts us on a tour of a very different kind.

Jenny Wedgbury – All the Sladey Ladies! Put your hands up for Dora Carrington, Winifred Knights and Gwen John, all ground-breaking female artists who studied at the Slade at the turn of the century. I’ll be talking about the impact they had on the art scene at the time and about the tangled web of love, paint and patriarchy in which they lived, and showing work by these artists from the UCL Art Museum collection.

Chloe Bent – I’ll talk about the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art & Objects: what we are and what we do.

Janet Tyson – The Muskegon Museum of Art is my local museum, which is in the small, post-industrial city of Muskegon, Michigan. It houses a remarkable collection of African-American art, which I’m going to tell you about. In song!

Hellen Pethers – A serendipitous Museum Librarian who wants to show you an eclectic mix of the unexpected from the paper collections of two national museums.

Nick Sturgess – We all go to theme parks and everyone has memories of them. In this set I’ll look at the issues of preserving an ever changing bit of Britain’s leisure time for the future.

Vicky Prodrick – From an international photographic competition capturing the deepest depths of the galaxies comes a product range that’s literally out of this world! Using the latest digital printing processes Royal Museums Greenwich has developed a unique photographic collection that’s one giant leap for Museum merchandise.