Museums Showoff, Sept 17 – SIGN UP!


We’ll kick off our 9th season of top class museum action on Tuesday 17 September 2019 downstairs at The Phoenix, W1.

Have you got something to say about museums, archives, libraries & collections? Do you want to talk / sing / dance / tell jokes / recite poetry about it? Then you’re our kind of person! We welcome curators, retail people, funders, academics, visitor services assistants, fundraisers, volunteers, security folk… and anyone else who’s got something to say about museums.

If you would like 9 minutes to tell us anything museum-y in any way you like, sign up on our Doodle poll.

If you’re wondering what this showing off thing is all about, and whether you should take part, find out more about us.

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!


Museums Showoff, May 21 — LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


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:

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, 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:

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:

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 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.