Museums Showoff, Sept 19 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


It’s time for more museum-y fun, and omg, what an incredible show we’ve got for you! Join us on Tuesday 19 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 £6 (+ 60p booking fee). Get one here:

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:

Cynthia Adobea-Aidoo – How do you go about starting a learning programme for schools, families and adults in a building that hasn’t been open for almost 700 years? Don’t ask me! I’m still figuring it out. Come along to hear about collaborations and commiserations as I discuss the “Revealing the Charterhouse” project. Spoiler alert, I’m still working on the “Revealing” bit.

Mari Takayanagi – Did you know that in the early 19th century women could only watch debates in the House of Commons from a ventilator in the attic space above? And after that they were confined to a cage? In 2018 Parliament will be celebrating ‘Vote 100’, the centenary of votes for some women – find out what else its archives reveal about the suffragists, the suffragettes, and hear about the exciting plans for 2018.

Clair Le Couteur – Some artworks don’t just occupy museum spaces, but claim to *be* museums themselves. How can these fictive museums unsettle the relationship between things and labels in the museum, and why might that matter?

Hannah Tyler – The great @Horse_ebooks once tweeted “everything happens so much” and in terms of quantum physics they are pretty spot on because everything that is, was, and will ever be, is happening at this very moment. If history exists right now, what does that mean for museum spaces and our perception of time? 

Tom Flynn – Doing the things you like can sometimes lead to a job you love, but it’s not always a direct route or a smooth ride. I’d like to share some things I’ve learned on my journey from dropping out of university to becoming cultural heritage lead at an international tech startup.

Gemma Murray – The Lion Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel, shown in Ice Age Art at the British Museum in 2013, is believed to be the oldest art object in existence. It features in arguments surrounding the history of Homo sapiens and predictions on AI and the posthuman. I’ll be talking about its ability to make us question where we come from and where we are going.

Alice Procter – Alice is an alliterative Australian art historian. After graduating and not knowing what to do with herself, she created The Exhibitionist, a podcast about galleries, and Uncomfortable Art Tours, a sightly secret programme exploring colonial legacies in British institutions. She’ll be talking about creating alternative narratives in museums, making people uncomfortable on purpose, and why kitsch is the key to a post-colonial world.

Arna Spek – For the last 7 years Arna has been working as part of the front of house staff before finally making the  move to another department. Join her as she closes this chapter for now by remembering 10 minutes of highlights of crazy, insane and hilarious visitor stories of years of welcoming Londoners into the Museum of London. What do you think is the weirdest question she had to deal with?

Museums Showoff, July 18 – LINE-UP ANNOUNCED!

Omg, it’s our 30th London gig!

We’re celebrating in style with an incredible show packed with museum-y fun. Join us on Tuesday 18 July, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and astound you. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p booking fee). Get one here:

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

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:

Alistair Brown – Will there be any museum funding in five years time (and what is the Treasury’s PIN number?) Who are the 4% of people in the cultural sector who voted for Brexit (and where do they live?) And what happens if a museum sells off some of its old stuff (and will anyone notice?) These are some of the questions that keep Alistair Brown, Policy Officer at the Museums Association, awake at night. Together, we’ll look for answers.

Emily Wiles & Bianca Manu – We’ll talk about our experience of working with Australia based artist Busty Beatz following her residency at Wellcome Collection as part of the Sick of The Fringe Festival in Feb 2017. Busty Beatz created ‘We are the Latest Models of Our Ancestry’, a 3-day Twitter takeover of @ExploreWellcome and an installation confronting uncomfortable truths in one of Wellcome Collection’s permanent galleries. It has fuelled conversations about the museum’s colonial past, cultural blind spots of the present and the urgent need to revise curation of collections in the future.

Mahendra Mahey – A salutary tale laced with drama, humour, despair and inspiration of how the British Library managed to get a giant art piece originally exhibited at the Burning Man festival in Nevada USA to sit in the Library’s ‘Poet’s circle’ outside in the piazza for nearly 6 months. This is a story about what amazing things can happen when Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs) open their doors to their collections through digitisation.

Rosie Clarke – Who has a crush on museums? How Culture24 tried out a daily Instagram photography experiment to help shape the look and feel of the new Museum Crush website.

Melinda Haunton – Creating a new archives standard from scratch, in public, with as many people as possible? Looking back at the first years of Archive Service Accreditation, it seems like setting out to climb Everest. But we did it, we’re still standing, and I’m here to answer the questions you didn’t know you had.

Nick Oram & Chloe Petts – Improvised comedy group Do Not Adjust Your Stage talk in collaboration with the National Gallery Young Producers about their sell-out show Blank Canvas –  an improvised comedy show inspired by the paintings in the gallery! The National Gallery Young Producers are a group of 18-25 year olds from diverse backgrounds dedicated to opening up the gallery to young people like them by exploring the collection in new ways.

Sam Perrin – What does a headstone tell you about a life long gone? Join Cemetery Club’s Sam Perrin for a journey through various cemeteries (or ‘people museums’ as we like to call them) to view just how revealing, quirky and witty some people’s final memorials can be. From poignant to laugh-out-loud funny, you’ll never look at a graveyard the same way!

Arti Prashar & Ellie Pridgeon – Spare Tyre is celebrating 40 years of participatory arts with an HLF funded project called ST40; Artistic Director Arti and Archivist Ellie will talk about setting off establishing the archive and recording oral histories. Spare Tyre started as a feminist theatre company. We were one of the first theatre companies to work creatively with schools on gay rights and gender equality. Our work now includes projects with adults with learning disabilities and older people. We don’t often get the chance to think about what we did yesterday, let alone 40 years ago. It’s time to take stock, take pride and preserve some memories.

Laura Southall – Job hunting for the perfect museum role is a lot like dating to find your perfect man – it feels near-impossible, it makes you want to give up and hibernate with cats and it involves a lot of talking about yourself in an array of ridiculous ways. Having survived nearly 18 months of job applications and interviews, Laura will relive the highs and lows (let’s be honest, mainly lows) of finding ‘The One’.


Museums Showoff, May 23 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


We’ve lined up the crème de la crème of museum talent to entertain, astound and intrigue you. Join us on Tuesday 23 May, downstairs at The Phoenix. Doors open at 6.45pm, the show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p 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:

Adam Koszary – My animated GIFs brought alive the amazing (and often stupid) centuries-old illustrations of Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries. Come see how I lowered the tone of an august institution while managing to still educate as well as entertain.

Jackie Keily – Add together 68,000-years-worth of London history, tens of thousands of objects, 200 archaeologists, over 100 kms of railway, eight tunnel boring machines and a saint. Divide by the available gallery space and showcases, and the result is ‘Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail’. Find out more in 9 minutes!

Subhadra Das & Miranda Lowe – Racism is structural and it continues to be reiterated through monolithic institutions, most notably educational institutions like museums and universities. In a reprisal of their recent NatSCA 2017 Conference paper, Miranda Lowe and Subhadra Das will describe how natural history museums were and continue to be racist and – more importantly – suggest what they can do to change.

Rachel Rose Reid – Do you want to open minds? Maybe even hearts? Rachel will share how storytelling builds joyful, authentic connections to collections, and why the imperfections and dark sides of certain tales are better dived into than left behind.

Jenny Judova & Ed Lawless – When do you know that you ’emerged’ as a museum professional? Jenny and Ed will be talking about the London Emerging Museum Professionals Network, what it’s like to be emerging in a museum field and the importance of having peers to talk to.

Matt Abbott – One of the strengths of poetry is connecting images, memory, creativity and information; so using poetry in musuem spaces is a match made in heaven. I’ll be discussing my relationship with three key museums and galleries, plus performing snippets of my work.

Dan Vo – Explore the presence of LGBTQ individuals and communities within different time periods and cultures at the V&A museum. From the comfort of your seat, you’ll go on a virtual seven and a half mile tour of the museum: from the flamboyant to the modest, comic to the tragic, you’ll hear about the historical queer stories that need to be shared and remembered.

Nick Harris & Lee Roberts – What happened when British Museum curator Dr Irving Finkel went head to head with YouTuber Tom Scott over the Royal Game of Ur – the world’s oldest playable board game? Nick Harris & Lee Roberts were there, and they filmed it!

Museums Showoff, March 21 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


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 Tuesday 21 March, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will astonish and amaze you. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p booking fee). Get one here:

Strutting their museum-y stuff on stage 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 here:

Rosie Lampard – Rosie will be reporting from the front lines of visitor services in heritage with some of the peculiar and wonderful questions visitors ask.

Sheldon Goodman – Cemeteries. No, no, don’t shudder. Cemeteries are remarkable open spaces that capture the beauty of human nature and are literal museums of the dead. Sheldon Goodman, of Cemetery, will give you a brief introduction to some of the weird and wacky characters that lie beneath the surface – odd names, beautiful headstones – Sheldon’s nine minutes will have you going to your nearest one to find out more about our history.

Prachi Joshi – Case 101: Uncovering the Universal Museum (at the British Museum.) My MA project invites people to evaluate the British Museum as a Universal Museum through a roleplaying event: a case, lawyers, jury and the Musuem. An alternative perspective to the Museum.

Eleanor Margolies – Why do we see in a flash but take so long to say what we see? The process of describing objects for blind and partially sighted visitors is a chance to slow down and think about the complicated nature of visual perception.

Catherine Freeman – Knowing about the history of teddy bears is essential. It must be as we have to tell thousands of children but we are concerned that adults are unaware of the tale of the bear and so feel charged to rectify this.

Harriet Braine – Harriet Braine is a musical comedian* who sings about art history. She also works at the National Maritime Museum, and has written a song specially for Museums Showoff about it. *She’s a Funny Women Stage Award winner!

Miranda Stearn – There are a few things that make me sad about Cambridge – the uninterrupted stream of bikes, the selfie-sticks, the overpriced wine bar next door. But the thing that makes me saddest is the knowledge that Cambridge ranks 5th worst in the country on the social mobility index, and we systematically fail our young people from low income backgrounds. I’m going to tell you a bit about how the University of Cambridge Museums and our partners are hoping to help change this.

Korantema Anyimadu – Korantema will be performing a spoken word piece compiled from snippets of conversations she’s had, about people’s deepest, darkest and most shameful museum thoughts…

Museums Showoff, Jan 24 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


We’re back for 2017!

We’re kicking off the new year with another incredible line up of top museum talent. Join us on Tuesday 24 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 £6 (+ 60p booking fee), get one here:

Strutting their museum-y stuff on stage will be:

Naomi Paxton – your compere for the night, Naomi is a performer and an academic. Her ‘portfolio’ career thus far has included acting, comedy, puppetry, magic and lots and lots of suffrage theatre. Find out more:

Sacha Coward – Scaring Children Sh*tless! Is it ok for museums to scare kids? But what if it makes them lose control of their bodily functions?! Sacha Coward (ex child scarer and current social justice warrior wannabe at the National Maritime Museum) will spill the beans on why scaring children can be a good thing but can get a bit… messy…

Erica McAlister – Dead flies are the best flies? In Life and Death flies are the best species on the planet and I work with the best collection to highlight this FACT. Even in death, the four million flies in the collection are working to save your planet!

The Queer Cabinet Brigade – Why is queer history still closeted in filing cabinets? Members of the Queer Cabinet Brigade present fabulous tales from queer history and dreams + schemes for an LGBTQI+ history museum in London.

Claire Madge – My alter ego, Tincture of Museum, will be giving a 9 minute light hearted look at what autism is and explaining why autism and museums are the perfect fit given a little time and effort.

Mark Taylor – Are people who don’t go to museums waiting for the sector to bring them into the light? I’ll use national-level data to show that museums’ diversity problem is much worse for the museums than it is for the people are trying to reach.

Fiona Candlin – I’ll be talking about spending £1million on devising maps of UK museums from 1960 until now (and how I managed to get the cash!).

The National Archives – In 1895, Oscar Wilde was found guilty of gross indecency for his relationship with Alfred Douglas, and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour. We’ll be performing a short play that brings to life the words of Oscar Wilde and his supporters – all taken directly from the trial and prison records in The National Archives collection.

George Eksts – I’m a photographer at the V&A and an artist using digital media. I’ll be talking about how a museum could make 3D digital copies of objects, and how an artist might use and adapt these as part of their practice.

Museums Showoff, Nov 22 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hot on the heals of our STORMING first gig of the season, it’s time for MORE SHOWING OFF!

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 Tuesday 22 November, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will astonish and amaze you. Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p booking fee). Get one here:

Strutting their museum-y stuff on stage will be:

Gregory Akerman – the least working man in show business and one time employee of the science museum, Gregory will take your hand and guide you through this evening’s festivities. Gregory’s shows have acquired over 50 stars (the distribution of these is of little importance) and he’s been on the radio and everything, so you’re in safe hands!

Kristin Hussey – Looking for Victorian eyes in the medical museum. Yep, it’s about what it sounds like. The Victorians were obsessed with their eyes, but when I went to museums to research the topic for my PhD, I was at a loss. Where did all the eyes in museums go? Were they ever there in the first place?

Katie Childs – Three tweets a week, firearms and a horse vertebrae in the shape of John Wesley: influencing Government policy. NMDC represents the leaders of the UK’s national collections and major regional museums, and it is Katie’s job to find ways to influence Government policies which affect museums. In her set, she share her influencing ideas.

James Lattin – Dr James Lattin will provide an update on the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge’s first ever tour of North America, including theories around the Flat Earth and New England’s largest toothbrush.

Melanie Malherbe – A behind the scenes glimpse into the making of a nail-biting 10-part conservation mini series. The series tracks the conservation of a Romano-British Cinerary urn to get it ready for an long term international adventure.

Adrian Steel – The Postal Museum is a place with a past… and an exciting future, including its own railway! Journey with me from one to the other, voting on a series of choices presented along the way.

Anna Stothard – I’m a novelist and a hoarder of autobiographical possessions, fascinated by the art of telling stories using objects. I’ll be reading from my new novel, The Museum of Cathy, which is set over twenty four hours in a natural history museum about a young woman who curates a museum of her own life.

Kevin Gosling – Three years ago, on Benjamin Britten’s hundredth birthday, the musical world threw the biggest party ever seen for any composer. Kevin Gosling sums up the things he learned as Communications Director for Britten 100, based at the centre of the whole global shindig: the Red House in Aldeburgh.

Simon Watt – I’ll be talking about art, psychology and working out exactly what is wrong with our audience.


Museums Showoff, Oct 18 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!


It’s time to kick off  another season of museum-y fun, and omg, what an incredible show we’ve got for you! Join us on Tuesday 18 October, downstairs at The Phoenix, where our brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and astound you. Doors open 7pm,. Tickets are £6 (+ 60p booking fee). Get one here:

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

Eddie Johnston & Ben Whittle – This evening marks the debut performance of “Explainers! The Musical: A Story of Life and Learning”, the new musical extravaganza from Whittle and Johnston. Marvel as your two stars attempt to cram cumulative eight years of experience in museum education into less than 10 minutes, covering all your favourite musical tropes as they do!

Sally James and Ella Hewitt – Transforming an empty Georgian house with a confusing history into an edgy new visitor attraction. With no set visitor route or red rope, boot sale finds on display, and restored rag rolled paint schemes, Rainham Hall is not your typical National Trust property.

Charlotte Hopkins – Horror in Greater London Council Film Censorship files! I’ll delve into the London Metropolitan Archives to find out was deemed ‘horrific’. Be strong, as this archive story promises to, “offer no relief, hope of remedy, or escape.” Starring Dracula, Frankenstein and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre amongst others. Enter in to the Dark Eyes of London.

Claire Haggerty – I’ll be speaking about my experiences working as a team leader in a busy disability access department. I’ll also talk about my Masters thesis looking into disability access in heritage settings and how that provision is planned for according to different audience needs and operational restrictions.

John Kannenberg – The Museum of Portable Sound brings the culture of sound to the world, one listener at a time – literally, as you have to make an appointment for a private tour. I’ll be talking about the Museum’s collections, playing some of its sounds, and revealing why this museum is not an app – it’s an experience.

Catherine Jones – I really love LEDs in the Science museum! I’ll talk about how I turned Lightning data, LEDs and anti static bags into a sculpture for a secret art exhibition.

Holly Parsons – How do you create a successful work force development programme? I’ll tell you about my experiences of the Royal Pavilion and Museums’ programme.

Bhavani Esapathi – Bhavani Esapathi Co-Directs MOOCs on Arts Management at The Goethe-Institut whilst having founded a health startup jointly funded by Innovate UK & Arts Council England called The Invisible Labs. Proudly unemployable but having worked with numerous museums & galleries across Europe, Bhavani will be talking about ‘how to make shit happen’ within the museums sector in an age where all of us are overcoming financial challenges in the arts.