Museums Showoff 4 – November 15th, Wilmington Arms, London

It’s November! The clocks have changed, bonfire night has gone, and all we have to look forward to is cold, misery and crap Xmas presents. If you’re a fan of museums, libraries, galleries and their staff, though, we have something to cheer you up.

Museums Showoff is back for its fourth gig on November 15th at 7pm, with another incredible line-up from right across the museums world.

Steve Cross will, as ever, be compering. Has he found even more rude things to say about the Science Museum? It’s safe to assume that he has. The other acts are:

Nic Vogelpoel – A performative and participatory introduction to the world of health and well-being evaluation in museums. Through tactile exploration (object handling), audience and participants alike will navigate vast emotional terrain, inevitably demonstrating that museums can make you feel healthier.

Aidan Goatley – I will be talking about my childhood desire to be an astronaut, the science museum, my dad the engineer and why I never made it into space.

Carole Richmond – In 1889 George Browne Goode, assistant secretary at the Smithsonian railed against museums that were content to be ” a cemetery of bric-a-brac”, in 2010 Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum wrote about the need to engage with an artefact “as generously, as poetically as we can in the hopes of winning the insights it can deliver”. Carole Richmond, from the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, will show how poets have found inspiration from the “bric-a-brac” by reading, as energetically and engagingly as she can, some of the many poems inspired by museums.

Rebecca Mileham & Dea Birkett – Sharpen your pencils, it’s time to bring an end to museum text that’s too long, too boring, too vague, or basically meaningless. Writers Dea Birkett and Rebecca Mileham share examples from their collection of terrible museum text, and invite your entries into the all-new Bad Text Awards.  

Becky Clark – Following in-depth thought and consultation, I will be giving a talk entitled ‘The English National Heritage Trust’. As someone who has worked for both the National Trust and English Heritage, I am aware that there is a small amount of confusion about which is which, why there are two of us and, indeed, what we actually to. In nine minutes I will elucidate a captive audience on why the National Trust is on its way to founding its own nation, who actually owns Stonehenge, and why planning law is of vital importance to all of our future happiness.

Julie Reynolds – Come and watch hidden objects speed date.

Laura Crossley – The Joys of Partnership Working: Find out about Victorian Nights, a North Norfolk festival (as part of Museums at Night 2012) in which heritage partners which had previously worked alone discovered the joys of joint working!

Hazel Gibson – I will being talking about what the front line of earth sciences identification is really like – the weird theories, odd discoveries and wacky questions that I get every day. All the stories are true and by the end of it you will either want to laugh or cry at some peoples ideas about geology!

Evi Stamatiou – The Clowness at the Guggenheim

Zoe Laughlin – Materials perform. Stuff is constantly getting up to things. Matter is doing all of the time, at varying scales of time and space, in order to exist and generate the world of objects. This is your chance to encounter some of the most wondrous matter on earth; from shape-memory paperclips to magnetic liquids, not to mention the lightest solid in the world.

The gig will be free entry, although we strongly suggest that you make a donation to our charity for the month, which is Magic Me, who build inter-generational friendships through shared art projects. A donation of £5 is about right. 

If you’re looking for the Wilmington Arms, it’s here: or you can type EC1R 4RL into a smartphone or GPS.

See you at the gig! We’ll bring sweets. You bring ears and brains.


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