Museums Showoff, July 16 — cancelled

Some bad news! There will be no Museums Showoff on July 16.

This is the first time I’ve ever cancelled a show. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s one I needed to make. I am overloaded with work and trying to move flat, and I’m exhausted. Something had to give, and it was the show on July 16.

Museums Showoff will return on September 17! If you’ve got something to say about museums, libraries or archives and you’d like to take part, sign up on our Doodle poll. We’d especially LOVE to have sets from folk working in admin, retail, catering, security and technical roles.

See you all then!

Rachel

Museums Showoff, May 21 — LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HOORAY!

It’s time for lots more museum-y fun, and omg, have we got an AWESOME line up!

Join us on Tuesday 21 May, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee), get one from We 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: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Georgia Barnett – Millionaires, Hope and penguin sex: the weird world of fundraising at the Natural History Museum.

Anna Faherty – The tragic tale of a London museum brought down by the Society for the Suppression of Vice. Only for those with the stomach for wonder, obscenity and the malicious destruction of museum objects. And certainly not for ladies.

Ben Hill – Beware, may contain HAZARDS! An introduction to the Science Museum’s epic One Collection project and the awesome team of hazard surveyors. Find out about the hazards which may be lurking in the exciting realm of the museum store.

Devon Turner – Let Them Eat Cake: An American take on British Museums. From cheesesteaks to sausage rolls…hear about the museum adventures of a Philadelphia native now living in London. Free museums, cake tables, and some of the most outstanding collections in the world? It’s been love since first bite, ahem, I mean sight!

Annelies Van de Ven – Archaeological archives can help give important context to the objects that enter our museums, but not all of the items within these archives are equally relevant to the archaeological process… Get an insider’s view into some unexpected gems from these treasure troves.

Sheldon Goodman – Queering a cemetery – where on earth do you start? In February an experimental tour took place in a Victorian Valhalla as part of LGBT History Month – and it involved drag kings, queens, storytellers and poets. Co-creator Sheldon Goodman of the Cemetery Club reveals how the gay dead and a key gay space merged together to create an unforgettable event!

Kat Petersen – When an acid-free box and someone’s lifetime of correspondence love each other very much…” If you’ve always wondered where archive collections actually come from but were afraid to ask, Kat will tell you all the unromantic details.

Robin Sampson – I’ll be talking about how archives can be used to both inspire the design of escape room games and also benefit from hosting them.

Emily Dawson – How to lose visitors & alienate audiences, or how come science museums are still so racist, sexist and classist (amongst other things). A super cheerful talk (nope!) about the  need to urgently reimagine science museums in ways that are meaningfully inclusive.

Museums Showoff, March 19 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED

HOORAY! It’s time for MORE MUSEUM-Y FUN!

We’ve lined up top museum talent to entertain, astound and intrigue you! Join us on Tuesday 19 March, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee), buy one from WeGotTickets.

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

Naomi Paxton – your compère for the night, Naomi is an awesome performer and an academic. She acts, juggles, does magic and is an expert on suffrage plays! Find out more on her website.

Jane Secker & Chris Morrison – The GLAMorous world of Copyright Literacy: creativity and games. Chris and Jane are copyright geeks and they on a mission to empower the GLAM sector about the importance of understanding copyright. They have already taken the world of libraries by storm using their approach of copyright games and creative approaches to teaching. Their key message is that developing copyright literacy is empowering and fun, and can help you unlock cultural heritage!  

Paul Duncan McGarrity – Paul is a stand up comedian archaeologist who has performed all over the UK in venues ranging from top comedy clubs to on top of Hadrian’s wall. He will be talking about castles and how to successfully attack them.

Kat Petersen – “When an acid-free box and someone’s lifetime of correspondence love each other very much…” If you’ve always wondered where archive collections actually come from but were afraid to ask, Kat will tell you all the unromantic details.

Nkechi Noel – Presents “Sweet Mother” a creative prose which offers a glimpse of the aspirations, hopes and dreams of Commonwealth citizens who embarked on a new life in the “Motherland”.

Adrian Steel – Playing Your Architectural Cards Right: post-war British Architecture… familiar family home or Festival Hall, car park or carbuncle, it is all around us, and yet its value is often underappreciated and misunderstood, its stories untold. How can we play our cards right to save and share the magnificent heritage collections documenting the building of modern Britain, before the concrete is crushed?

Andrea Solomon – From Brexit to the Pride parade, via an Uber with some elderly French ladies, volunteering at a museum can put you in all sorts of unexpected situations. V&A volunteer Andrea Solomon will tell you how she’s not getting paid enough to deal with this shit…and why she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sacha Coward – Can You F*ck A Mermaid?: Adventures in queer folklore! I think mermaids are awesome and I want to make you think they’re awesome too. But I also want to  gross you out with obscure maritime history, what’s not to love?!

Ellie Groom – Are television spots more trouble than they’re worth for museums? A television curator takes an irreverent look at TV in museums and museums on TV, the top 5 sins of telly producers, and the unique power of broadcast to engage museumgoers.

Welcome to our new website!

YAY!

We’ve got a new website!

Our producer, Rachel Souhami, has rolled up her sleeves, learned some html and CSS, et voilà! Welcome!

We think it has a better layout and navigation than the old one, but please let us know if there are any glaring errors or omissions.

I subscribed to the old blog, do I have to resubscribe to this one?

No…at least, we don’t think so! All subscribers should have been transferred to this blog. We will be posting the line up for our March 19 show in the next couple of days, if you’re a subscriber and don’t get a notification about that, please let us know. You can use our fancy new contact button at the bottom of this page 🙂

Museums Showoff, Jan 22 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hooray! We’re kicking off 2019 with MORE MUSEUM-Y FUN!

We’ve got another incredible line up of top museum talent. Join us on Tuesday 22 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 £7 (+ 70p booking fee), get one here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/460633

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

Naomi Paxton – she acts, she does magic, she’s an expert on suffrage plays AND she’s your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

The Museum of British Colonialism – Introducing you to restorative history, history as verb, and a museum conspicuous by its absence.

Jack Shoulder and Mark Small – It’s museums and bums… bums in museums… that’s it!

Ellie Miles – Where are all the women? What can London Transport Museum do to represent the women that got, kept, and keep, London moving?

Corinne Harrison – 10 months as assistant curator in the National Portrait Gallery’s Archive and Library: disappointing people who’ve watched too much Cash in the Attic, helping people who think the NPG is Google for portraits, and the deep satisfaction of successful reattribution.

Claire Madge – Back in April 2018 over 30 people completed a Museum Marathon walking to over 26 London museums in one day raising money for Autism in Museums. But how much was raised? What did I spend the money on? Did I just have a nice holiday in the sun? Come and hear about a year spent making the most impact for Autism in Museums with your very kind donations.

Leah Fitzpatrick – What’s a badger? How do whales have sex? And why is the general public so obsessed with trying to eat so many animals? Join Learning Volunteer Leah as she talks about some of the funniest questions and answers she’s heard at the Natural History Museum.

Rachel MacKay – Have you ever thought “Wow, the Eurovision Song Contest is fantastic; but if only I could learn more about museum leadership by watching it”? Then this session is for you! Indulge yourself with a trip down memory lane as I decode the career enhancing tips of 80’s pop sensation Bucks Fizz.

Museums Showoff, Nov 20 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HOORAY! It’s time for MORE MUSEUM-Y FUN!

We’ve lined up top museum talent to entertain, astound and intrigue you! Join us on Tuesday 20 November, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee).

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

Naomi Paxton – she acts, she does magic, she’s an expert on suffrage plays AND she’s your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Michelle McGrath, Fran Riando & Kayleigh McMahon – Museum as Muck is a network of working class museum workers. We want to bring the issue of CLASS to the sector’s attention and so we went to the MA conference and staged an intervention!

Miranda Schiller – History never ends, so why shouldn’t a museum talk about the future as well as the past? Experiences from running a series of events about the future of London at London Transport Museum.

James Mansfield – This summer I spent a week at the Museum of the Flat Earth in Newfoundland. I’ve returned from the other side and believe it offers valuable lessons for all museums, large or small, which I will relate with photographic evidence.

Julia Tubman, Angharad Howell & Amy Dobson – A blatant rip-off of the National Army Museum’s “Namstall”, Gunnersbury Park Museum presents “Gunnstallation” – the much awaited reopening of the museum after an almost 4 year major renovation project. We will attempt to recall our repressed memories of a traumatic time when we turned a Georgian mansion back in to a fully functioning museum.

Martin Devereux – Going Postal: Doing Digital at The Postal Museum – a wry look at how The Postal Museum developed its digital chops, and what’s happening now. From websites to digitisation to VR, Martin will explore the lows and the highs of trying to embed digital thinking and doing into a museum.

Louise McAward- White and Rob Scott – When your system is known as WorkSlow, then you know you’ve got a software development project on your hands! Rob and Louise explain (through gifs) how they wrangled their colleagues and their software supplier to get results for everyone.

Sheldon Goodman – MUSIC HALL! Premier Victorian entertainment that helped distract long dead audiences from the scourges of cholera, terrible housing and the age of steam. Whereas now we have the likes of Calvin Harris, Kanye West and Adele, back then we were delighted by the likes of Alec Hurley, Nellie Power and Florrie Forde. Who? Exactly. For ten minutes only, hear Sheldon K.Goodman of @cemeteryclub sing some of the old ballads and bangers that would have eased the struggle of what life was like a century ago…’

Magda Oldziejewska – Magda will be talking about the Feminist Library’s long, and eventually triumphant, struggle for survival, and its campaign for the move to its new home. Together with a collective rendition of the Feminist Library survival song, this should be an inspiration to other organisations struggling against austerity and other anti-community forces.

Museums Showoff, Sept 18 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

HOORAY!

It’s time for more museum-y fun, and omg, what an incredible show we’ve got for you! Join us on Tuesday 18 September, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee). Get one here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/448542

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

Naomi Paxton – she acts, she does magic, she’s an expert on suffrage plays AND she’s your compere for the night! Find out more about our multi-talented MC here: http://www.naomipaxton.co.uk/

Gavin Grindon – Last month over 40 artists removed their work from the design museum’s ‘hope to nope’ exhibition in protest at the museum hosting arms dealers. Now they’re exhibiting the work themselves. This is the story of what happened. https://nopetoarms.org/

Harriet Braine – Comedy songs about dead people. Well, two songs about dead people and one about the museum I work in, which is the National Maritime Museum.

Emily Barnes & Fran Jeens – There’s no such thing as a stupid question – Join Emily and Fran from the Jewish Museum to find out why we encourage our visitors to ask questions, hear some of the weird and wonderful  questions we get asked by young people during school workshops, and how a team of Jewish and non-Jewish staff handle some of the more sensitive subjects…

David Hingley & Laura Hutchinson – Admit it.  You visit museums and heritage sites. You only ever share memories of poorly laminated, badly written, amusingly misplaced signage. You aren’t alone. Join our #SignageSaturday crusade to learn through laughter.. It’s time the writing was on, or at least near, the relevant wall and in a semi-readable font.

Jess Starns – Jess Starns discusses using the Wellcome Collection as a starting point for creating the Museum of the Labelled arts-based research project, investigating what’s important in the history of labelling people with learning difficulties (neurodiversity) in museum interpretation.

Kevin Baker – Libraries: what do we think they are they for, exactly? For his PhD project Kevin travels the length and breadth of Britain, visiting its most spectacular and beautiful libraries. He will share what these adventures teach him about the role and purpose of book collections – and about the role and purpose of himself, in more emotional detail than you really needed.

Polly Mee, Thomas Saddler, Kate Wilkinson & Sam Potts – The Digital team at Royal Museums Greenwich will be giving you their top tips for making a successful Live stream of the Lunar Eclipse, despite not actually seeing the moon.

Sarah Castle & Michael Odd – Never seen a reason to make it to the end of the Northern Line? Now one exists! The RAF turned 100 this year, and to celebrate the RAF Museum has opened three new exhibitions and redeveloped the landscape to reflect its airfield heritage. Our ‘showoff’ will involve a bit of shameless promotion of our new and shiny site, but will mainly concentrate on what is afoot in the Access & Learning Department as we will reveal the shift in the schools’ programme from History, History and a bit more History to STEM.

Bridget McKenzie –  I’ll talk about the emerging Climate Museum for the UK, which aims to stir and collect responses to the climate emergency around the UK. It also aims to develop the cultural sector’s confidence in engaging with their audiences around this ‘defining issue of our time’. I will share the story so far, and invite your suggestions as part of the prototyping model for its development.