Museums Showoff 20, September 29 – SIGN UP!


Do you love museums?

Have you got something to say about them?

Do you want tell a lovely audience that also thinks museums are ace?

How about over a drink one evening?

Amazing! We’ve got news for you!


We’re kicking off a new season of chaotic cabaret on Tuesday 29 September at The Slaughtered Lamb. We’re looking for anyone with tales to tell about museums – fundraisers, retail people, volunteers, security folk, curators, funders, academics, visitor services assistants… or anyone else who fancies 9 minutes to show off about museums in anyway they like. You can talk, dance, sing, recite poetry, tell jokes, whatever you like as long as it’s about museums, heritage and collections.

If you want 9 minutes to tell us about museum-y drama, intrigue, derring-do, incredible ideas, amazing objects or behind-the-scenes insights sign up here:

Please do not sign up if you’ve performed for us since February 2015.

If you’re wondering what on earth this showing off thing is all about, and whether you should join in, look here:

Museums Showoff 19, July 7 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

It’s nearly summer holiday time!

Who’s going to spend it coping with two months of holiday events, blockbuster queues and lost visitors?

Treat yourself before the chaos begins. Kick back with some top class entertainment from the creme de la creme of museum talent.

Join us on Tuesday 7 July, downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb, where our brilliant performers will intrigue and astound you. Doors open 7pm, with the gig starting at 7.30pm. Entry is £5, get your tickets here: All the money (apart from the booking fee) will be going to the Stroke Association.

Strutting their museum-y stuff for your delectation will be:

Steve Cross – compere, troublemaker and one time curator, Steve will poke fun at museums and try to keep things to time.

Catherine Jones – Most museums want to tell the truth. We spent a weekend creating a museum where nothing was quite as it seemed.

Amy Cotterill – David vs Goliath: The Power of Small Museums! National and ACE Major Partner Museums have large teams of staff, deep pockets and influential contacts. Small museums don’t, but in the cultural arena they definitely punch above their weight!

Mark Carnall – The curator of the Grant Museum, who pines for the days of taxonomy before cladistics and genetics made things messy, will be self consciously spitting some rhymes about animal taxonomy. Should have made this rhyme I guess. That would have been clever. #PhylaRap

Zoe Hughes – What the *%!& is a brachiopod? In a journey through 500 million years of the brachiopod collections at the Natural History Museum, you’ll encounter a brief exploration of just what a brachiopod is, why they are important and why you’ve (probably) never heard of them.

Andrew Hunter Murray – Andrew spends most of his time finding weird facts for No Such Thing as A Fish and pretending to be characters from Jane Austen novels. He may or may not combine the two for the benefit of museums.

Rosie Lampard – I am an intern with the National Trust and I will be condensing my property’s collection of well over 1,000 objects and 300 years of history into three of my favourite pieces. It’ll be the fastest history lesson ever!

Glenn Cumiskey – I’ll be playing historic songs from the Smithsonian’s Folkways collection, with my band Mariah Wade.

Maria Lloyd – Understanding Museums is a new website aimed at helping prospective and current museum professionals to make museums more accessible to visitors (including Deaf and visually impaired individuals), and also provides advice for museum visitors on how to view museum collections.

Helen O’Donnell –  Helen will discuss ‘The Wunderkammer’, the show by award-winning comedy improv group ‘Do Not Adjust Your Stage’ which brings together inspiring people and improvised comedy at the Natural History Museum Lates.


Museums Showoff 19, July 7 – SIGN UP!

Hot on the heels of a storming show, it’s time to announce ANOTHER GIG!

Yes, there’ll be more top class museum action on Tuesday 7 July at the Slaughtered Lamb, EC1.

Do you work in museums? Visit museums? Have something to say about museums? Want to talk / sing / dance / tell jokes / recite poetry … or just generally show off about it? Then you’re our kind of person!

If you haven’t performed for us in the last 12 months and would like 9 minutes to tell us anything about museums in any way you like, sign up here:

If you’re wondering what this showing off thing is all about, and whether you should take part, read this:

Museums Showoff 18, May 12 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hello London!

Are you ready for more top class museum-related entertainment? 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 at The Slaughtered Lamb on 12 May 2015, where our brilliant performers will astonish and amaze you. Doors open 7pm, with the gig starting at 7.30pm. Entry is £5, TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE DOOR. ALL the money will be going to the DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

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.

Tim Powell – Why palaces are better than museums…“Some people go to Berlin to get more cutting edge; I went and started wearing lederhosen and going to visit baroque palaces” Rufus Wainwright. Historic Royal Palaces’ Tim Powell aims to provoke some friendly inter-sector rivalry, though hopefully in a less obnoxious than the talk’s title implies.

Jenny Lockyear – Last summer, singer/ songwriter Jenny Lockyer was commissioned by Egham Museum near Runnymede to write four songs about Magna Carta to celebrate its 800th anniversary this year. Jenny will be performing one or two of these songs with bass player Matt Foster.

Vernon Rapley – Vernon will try to dispel the perception Hollywood has created of art crime. He will explain the true risks faced by museums and give an insight into methods used to protect our collections for future generations.

Jacqueline Winston-Silk – Nine objects in nine minutes! I’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of objects in the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture’s collections and uncovering their degrees of separation.

Adam Koszary – Wagons. Join me on a whirlwind tour of monkey drivers, dog-carts, the Oregon Trail and the heart of English craftsmanship and pride, to prove to all the doubters that yes, boxes on wheels can be interesting!

Judy Willcocks – Your region needs you! Judy Willcocks has realised that she is old and tired and part of the problem and is recruiting bright young things to represent (as volunteers) the museum sector in London. Can you bring a hint of youthful brio to the party?

Sam Hardy – In the cause of ideology, propaganda and profit (as well as due to Western sensibilities), cultural destruction is becoming a growing feature of political violence in societies that face Islamist insurgencies. Sam will try to sift fact from fiction and speculation – and show how.

Joe Sullivan – ‘Snaphots of History’ is a new workshop at Brooklands museum where schools make films using iPads. I’m going talk a little about the project, and show you what students have come up with!

Museums Showoff Wakefield – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Hello Yorkshire! Are you ready for some top class museum-related entertainment?

We’ve lined up the creme de la creme of museum talent to reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects, and thanks to those lovely folk at the Hepworth Wakefield and The Art House we’re coming to a venue near you!

Museums Showoff, the open mic night for all those who work in and love museums, will take place at the Hepworth Wakefield on Thursday 16 April. Doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. Entry is £4, tickets will be available on the door. All the money (apart from the booking fee) will be going to a local charity. Please note this show is suitable for over 18s only.

Strutting their museum-y stuff on stage will be:

Steve Cross – your compère for the evening. He collects geeky glasses and geekier jokes.

Angela Clare – What is it like to touch Henry VIII’s armoured codpiece? How do you turn ‘a bunch of old stuff’ into something relevant, interesting and possibly life-affirming? Calderdale Museums’ collections manager will share her passion for history and objects and what it’s like to be responsible for looking after precious and unique, and sometimes boring, objects.

Merrick Burrow – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, wrote a book in 1922 in which he made the case in favour of believing in fairies. I will talk about my work with museums in West Yorkshire to explore and illuminate this strange episode as we approach the centenary of the Cottingley Fairies photographs in 2017.

Emma King & Tracy Craggs – How to Survive in Europe. Join museum geeks and international women of mystery Emma and Tracy on a no-frills tour of the joys and pitfalls of European museum partnerships. Find out why vodka is essential for project management, when English isn’t really English and why you should always carry a clean pair of pants.

Emma Manners – Mortally wounded knights, plague ridden monks and Henry VIII have been walking the ruins at Fountains Abbey.  We will show you how scripted drama can bring places to life, untangle complicated historical narratives and help children to learn.  I will be talking to myself and wearing a variety of different hats.

Anisha Christison & Sally-Ann Burley – How the unlikely lasses at the National Coal Mining Museum created Wacky Wednesdays for under 5s. Fun, storytelling, singing, crafts all themed to match the Museum’s activity.

Imran Ali – Introducing Yarn. I’ll be talking about open access community storytelling, collaborative design and institutional archives, drawn from the AHRC-funded Pararchive research programme.

Eleanor Clayton – Breezeblocks and pot plants: how and why we reconstructed Barbara Hepworth’s 1968 exhibition designs!

Stephen Foster – I’ll be musing on museums, and giving my view on what they’re for.

Stuart Tulloch – Artisans, Mechanics, Manufactures, Inventors, Artists, Scholars, and all Workpeople, and other persons of both sexes, willing to become Exhibitors are invited at once to prepare articles for Exhibition.


Museums Showoff 18, May 12 – SIGN UP

Hooray! It’s spring! There are flowers! It’s not dark when I leave work! And best of all…


We’ll be back at the Slaughtered Lamb on Tuesday May 12. We’re looking for designers, curators, museum shop assistants, conservators, trustees, directors, volunteers, funders, visitors services assistants, academics…or anyone else with tales to tell about museums. You can show off a great project, give us the low-down on what you do, tell us about something you’ve seen or give us a new perspective…whatever you’ve got, as long as it’s about museums. And you can tell us in any way you like – talks, song, poetry, jokes, interpretive dance are all welcome!

If you’d like 9 minutes to tell us something about museums, sign up here:

If you’re wondering what this showing off malarkey is all about, and whether you should join in, read this:

Museums Showoff 17, March 24 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED


It’s time for lots of museum fun with even more behind-the-scenes tales, intriguing insights and amazing projects. And OMG, what an incredible show we’ve got for you!

Join us on Tuesday 24 March, downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb, where our brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and astound you. Doors open 7pm, with the gig starting at 7.30pm. Entry is £5, get your tickets here: All the money (apart from the booking fee) will be going to Paris Youth Group, the only support in Newham for LGBTQ young people and which is currently in danger of closure.

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

Steve Cross – your compère for the evening, keeping things to time and mucking about.

Eli Bligh-Briggs & Hannah Steele – Mind the diversity gap. London Transport Museum’s award winning apprentices talk cake, buses and self-worth. Explore their 12 month journey innovating stuff, trying to understand museums and empowering others to make their own tea.

Sharon Robinson – Toxic Tales. Museum stuff that might kill you…the things they don’t teach you at conservation school. This set will be a quick spin through the world of dangerous collections management featuring arsenic birds, guns, bombs and radioactive pants!

Simon Watt – Simon will be talking about why the Natural History Museum’s dodo deserves to be an icon, in spite of being a distinctly lack lustre bird.

Helena Copsey – Paintings in Hospitals is a charity dedicated to using visual art to create environments that improve the health and wellbeing of people across the UK. Helena will talk about its fascinating art collection and the benefits of creative engagement.

Harry Deansway – Ever wondered where the phrase free time comes from? How much time is there? Where has the time gone? I started writing this description six hours ago. Harry Deansway will be showing you the time of your life, quite literally, as he talks you through the history of clocks and watches.

Stella Wisdom – I’ll be talking about Off the Map, an annual videogame design competition for UK Higher Education students, which challenges them to create videogames and text adventures using digitised British Library maps, texts, illustrations and sounds, as creative inspiration.

Simon Cane – I say conservator, you say conservationist!  Conservators are often misunderstood, misinterpreted and even misrepresented in the media but yet they all that they do is for the benefit of visitors and collections isn’t it?  Simon will consider the how conservators and their actions are presented and communicated through the media, if they should care and what, if anything, they should do about it.

Hannah Bishop & Marie Klimis – Making art happen in a museum & garden: how the Horniman Museum is getting help to reveal its hidden worlds.