Museums Showoff’s 50th gig! LINE UP ANNOUNCED

O M G!

It’s our 50th show!!!

Come along and help us celebrate 10 years of museum-y fun, intrigue and insights!

This will be our last show for the foreseeable future. We are working on new ideas. More info to come soon.

Join us on Tuesday 26 April, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will entertain and astound you! Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 (+ 70p booking fee), get one from We’ve 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:

Subhadra Das – Way back in 2012, when I performed the opening set of the first-ever Museum Showoff, I had just started my dream job of being a museum curator, working with the Science Collections at University College London. Ten years on, I’m going to use my time at this momentous 50th show to reflect on the things I have done, and to show off some more: expect nine career highlights in nine minutes!

Claire Mead – The tale of one museum professional falling in love with the unbearably niche subject of sword lesbians during lockdown. May contain women’s history, LGBTQI heritage and many thoughts on how arms and armour collections and programming can benefit from new inclusive perspectives from unexpected angles…of attack.

David Hingley – The Museum of Forward Planning team are enjoying a post-pandemic boom. Filled with optimism, vague holding statements about content, ‘doing less, with more, more often’, and passionate about our ‘look after yourself’ well-being course. Welcome to your induction.

Claire Madge – The Highs and Lows of a Museum Blogger – This year I celebrate 10 years of blogging about museums as Tincture of Museum. It is time to look back over the memorable moments of writing nearly 350 blog posts. Famous faces, unusual places and the perils of taking yourself too seriously will all feature as I condense the last 10 years into 9 minutes of highs and lows. 

Nick Clarke – £8000 in 18 months. The pandemic put a stop to National Jazz Archive fundraising concerts, but to everyone’s surprise sending out a smart sales leaflet with our newsletter offering books that had been donated to the Archive has proved to be a great alternative way to raise money and find new homes for 1200 books. Hear how we did it, what lessons we learned, and find out if you too could set up such a scheme.

Hannah Whyte – Museum worker and artist/writer Hannah Whyte waxes lyrical about her love for documenting, as well as for the people who document (diarists, zinesters, and museum nerds). She discusses the affections and tensions between different means of documentation, exploring why museums might be perceived as haughty institutions in comparison to the scrapbooks and fanzines that are made from much the same passion. Her talk is informed by her work for the Cartoon Museum, a small museum espousing reams of ephemeral material, including zines, doodles, and other lo-fi paper memories.

Steven Franklin – TikTok. The Home of Gen Z; ring lights; trending dances; and now The National Archives! The Official Archive of the UK Government – keepers of almost 1000 years of history – has transformed itself into fulltime TikTokers. So, if you’d like to get a sense of how we’ve achieved this remarkable transformation, and the rationale behind it, this is the talk for you!

Holly James Johnston/Orlando – By day, Holly James Johnston is a researcher and programme coordinator. By night, Holly is known as Orlando, the dandyish drag king known for his foppish looks and mincing moves. As Orlando, Holly has found new ways to combine public programming with drag king performance – demonstrating how museums can benefit from alternative forms of creativity.

Take part in our 50th show!

Omg it’s been AGES, but finally…


And it’s our 50th show!

We’ll be celebrating 10 years of showing off on Tuesday 26th April, downstairs at The Phoenix.

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 sparkly sign up sheet and we will send you details of what you need to do.

Museums Showoff Online, 9th Feb 2021 — SIGN UP!

Yay! We’re back for more museum-y fun!

We will be streaming another show on Tuesday 9th February 2021.

Have you got something to say about museums, archives, libraries & collections? Do you want to make a 5 min (max) video of you talking / singing / dancing / telling jokes / reciting poetry about it? Then you’re our kind of person!

We’re looking for people to create films that we’ll edit together to make a show. We’re not looking for polished, tv-quality films – that’s just not us! So don’t worry if you’ve never made a video before.

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 this sounds like your kind of thing, sign up on our sparkly sign up sheet and we will send you details of what you need to do.

Want to know what this showing off malarkey is all about and whether you should get involved? Check out this post, or see previous online shows on our YouTube channel.

Introducing our Code of Conduct

Museums Showoff strives to produce events where everyone feels welcome and has a positive experience. We want people to be able to relax, enjoy themselves and get the most from our events. Since all participants contribute to the atmosphere of an event, it requires all participants to create a safe, welcoming environment. It is not enough to say “be nice to people”, so today we are publishing our Code of Conduct, which outlines the behaviours that are unacceptable at our events, how to report harassment, and the sanctions we may take if someone violates the Code of Conduct. Everyone participating in one of our events will be required to agree to it.

The full Code of Conduct is below, and can also be found on the Code of Conduct page of this website.

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors, staff and volunteers at Museums Showoff events are required to agree with the following code of conduct.

The Quick Version

Museums Showoff is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, neurotype, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity or religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment of participants or venue staff in any form.

Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from a show without a refund at the discretion of the organisers.

The Less Quick Version

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • verbal comments that reinforce harmful power structures related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, neurotype, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion.
  • gratuitous or inappropriate sexual images
  • deliberate misgendering or use of dead names
  • deliberate intimidation
  • stalking or following
  • harassing photography or recording
  • sustained disruption of shows or other events
  • inappropriate physical contact
  • invasion of personal space
  • unwelcome sexual attention
  • advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, Museums Showoff organisers may take any action they deem appropriate to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the event with no refund.

Event organisers may take action to address anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities.


If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the Museums Showoff team.

The Museums Showoff team will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

Sponsors / Funders

Sponsors and funders are subject to the anti-harassment policy.


This code of conduct is based on the Conference Code of Conduct, JSConf EU and Admission Conference.

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.