Museums Showoff 22, Feb 2 – SIGN UP!

We’ve had A LOT of fun at our last gigs.

We’ve had intriguing, amazing, witty and sometimes just down right bizarre tales from museums. What more is there to discover about museums, their collections, their visitors, the people who work in them and what they get up to? Well you tell us!

Do have something to say about museums? Want to talk / sing / dance / tell jokes / recite poetry about it? Then you’re our kind of person!

Museums Showoff, the cabaret-style event for all those who love museums, will be back on 2 February 2016 at The Slaughtered Lamb. We’re looking for curators, explainers, conservators, trustees, directors, designers, volunteers, critics, visitors services assistants, shop assistants, security staff, funders, academics…or anyone else with something to show off about museums.

If you haven’t performed for us in the last 6 months and you’d like 9 minutes to show off anything about museums in any way you’d like, sign up to strut your stuff on stage here:

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

Museums Showoff, Nov 24 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

It’s November, the clocks have gone back, it’s raining and there is the impending doom of terrible secret santa presents at the office party.

But never fear! We have lots of museum-y fun to cheer you up!

Join us on Tuesday 24 November downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb where ten top museum people will reveal behind-the-scenes stories, intriguing insights and amazing projects. Doors open 7pm, for a start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 (+50p booking fee) and you can get one here:

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.

Jason Webber – The British Library saves all of the UK Web space. Yes, ALL of it and if you think that you have a big collection, we are adding two billion new things every single year! Apart from wowing you with big numbers I will show that we have answered the really BIG questions in life, such as ‘who is best: cats or dogs?’ and ‘did Steve Jobs travel through time to invent the iPhone?’

Esther Redhouse White – Esther guides tours at Highgate Cemetery. She’ll be talking about bodysnatching, bread, and a few of her favourite graves.

Jonathan Schifferes – Where in Britain has the most heritage? How could you measure this fairly? Hear from data nerd Jonathan Schifferes (the RSA) and win a prize if you can suggest the most amazing data source for next year’s Heritage Index.

Emma Smith – I am the exhibition registrar for Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age at the Science Museum. I’ll be giving behind the scenes insights into the logistical challenges of transporting large spacecraft from Russia to the Museum in London.

Bente Pedersen, Adam Bencard & Karin Tybjerg – Something old, something new, something bottled, something blueSiamese twins and blood from biobanks. How do you make an exhibition about how medicine makes knowledge out of bodies? We’ll talk about “The Body Collected” at Medical Museion, Copenhagen.

Gregory Akerman – What do creationism and Jack the Ripper have in common – they are both subjects of controversial museums in England. For your entertainment, Gregory has gone to both museums and asked them about each other. Perhaps a creationist’s view of a Jack museum and a Ripper enthusiast’s view of a creationist museum will shed some light on these subjects (probably not, but it could be good fun).

James Lattin – Dr James Lattin, curator of the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge, will introduce the recently discovered Judley Bequest, and some different histories of the English country house.

Nick Harris – A live performance of the podcast Nick hasn’t made yet! Nick really wants to make a podcast about the British Museum, and the Museum actually agreed. In an ideal world, he’d just take an audio recorder to the pub and dump it on iTunes. That’s not allowed, so now he actually has to make one…help???

Dana Kovarik – In 1912, University College London received a gift of a collection of phenological busts that had been the life’s work of Robert Noel, an English phrenologist who worked predominantly in Bohemia. These heads are currently housed in UCL Museums Teaching and Research Collections and Noel’s story has been a relative mystery – until recently. Our recent research has uncovered a variety of publications by, and about, Robert Noel and his work in the field of phrenology which show he was a very key figure of the field’s popularity in the mid-nineteenth century.

Tony Harris – The AHFAP story: building UK cultural heritage imaging knowledge nodes. In April 1985, a group of photographers based in national museums in London, met with the aim to share knowledge and information. Thirty years later, the Association for Historical & Fine Art Photography has 300 members throughout the UK and Ireland. This is a story of how collaboration can and does benefit, especially in an age of continually evolving technologies and methodologies.

Museums Showoff 21, November 24 – SIGN UP!

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

Yes, there’ll be more top class museum action on Tuesday 24 November 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? We welcome curators, funders, academics, visitor services assistants, fundraisers, retail people, volunteers, security folk… and anyone else who’s got something to say about museums, archives, heritage & collections.

If you would like 9 minutes to tell us anything museum-y 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:


Vote for our charity of the year!

This season we have made some behind-the-scenes changes. We want to pay our producer, compère and technician a small amount, so we’ve decided to donate the rest of the money from our London gigs to a single charity throughout the year, instead of choosing a different charity each show. We’ve picked two of our favourite charities and we’d like you to tell us where the money should go. Please read about them and vote in our poll.

Doorstep Library – How well you read has a direct bearing on how well you do in life, yet the poorest families are less likely to have books or to read. Doorstep Library brings books and reading skills directly to homes in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas.

Shelter from the Storm – An emergency night shelter, completely free to guests, providing bed, dinner and breakfast for 44 homeless people every night of the year. Shelter from the Storm also supports its guests with housing, counselling and legal help.

UPDATE: The poll has now closed, and you voted for Doorstep Library!

poll results


Museums Showoff 20, Sept 29 – LINE UP ANNOUNCED!

Good news! It’s September! Who cares if the skies are grey and it’s getting colder… WE’RE BACK!

It’s time to kick off a new season of museum fun and OMG, what an incredible show we’ve got for you! Join us on Tuesday 29 September, downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb, where our brilliant performers will entertain, intrigue and astound you. Doors open 7pm. Tickets are £5 (+ 50p booking fee). Get one here:

Showing off their museum-y amazingness will be:

Steve Cross – compère, troublemaker and checked-shirt collector.

Maurice Davies – Poacher turned (stupid) curator. I spent quarter of a century at the Museums Association, provoking the museum sector, especially curators, documentation people and collection managers. In October, to my mild amazement, I’m taking up post as head of collections at a major London institution. Who should be more afraid – me or my new colleagues?

Anna Darron – Unexpected items in the bagging area! Not all exhibitions use historical collections. Anna will be taking a look back through the to-do and shopping lists from her time working on the Science Museum’s ‘Cravings’ exhibition. Find out what ingredients went into the mix, and how they’ve destroyed her Amazon search profile, possibly forever.

Russell Dornan – Ten museums in London joined forces on Instagram. What happened next will blow your mind! Possibly… Russell Dornan talks about the recent #MuseumInstaSwap project.

Joe Watson – The National Trust. Cream teas, the coast, and country houses, right? Wrong. Joe Watson escorts us on a tour of a very different kind.

Jenny Wedgbury – All the Sladey Ladies! Put your hands up for Dora Carrington, Winifred Knights and Gwen John, all ground-breaking female artists who studied at the Slade at the turn of the century. I’ll be talking about the impact they had on the art scene at the time and about the tangled web of love, paint and patriarchy in which they lived, and showing work by these artists from the UCL Art Museum collection.

Chloe Bent – I’ll talk about the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art & Objects: what we are and what we do.

Janet Tyson – The Muskegon Museum of Art is my local museum, which is in the small, post-industrial city of Muskegon, Michigan. It houses a remarkable collection of African-American art, which I’m going to tell you about. In song!

Hellen Pethers – A serendipitous Museum Librarian who wants to show you an eclectic mix of the unexpected from the paper collections of two national museums.

Nick Sturgess – We all go to theme parks and everyone has memories of them. In this set I’ll look at the issues of preserving an ever changing bit of Britain’s leisure time for the future.

Vicky Prodrick – From an international photographic competition capturing the deepest depths of the galaxies comes a product range that’s literally out of this world! Using the latest digital printing processes Royal Museums Greenwich has developed a unique photographic collection that’s one giant leap for Museum merchandise.


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.