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Museums at Night: What to see

The UK’s twice-yearly night-time festival of arts, culture and heritage explodes into life from 16-19 May. This is our look ahead at this week’s Museums at Night celebrations.

Museums at Night, the UK’s after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage, produced by arts charity Culture24, is back for 2018. Now in its tenth year, the festival will take place over 16 – 19 May.

The Museums at Night festival offers the chance to engage with culture and heritage in a unique and exciting way.

During the festival, hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK will be opening their doors after dark to put on a fantastic array of special night-time events.

What to see?

Trying It On, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, May 16 19:30-22:00

With performances created by one of the UK’s leading choreographers, Lea Anderson MBE, this night of performances and surprises based on notions of identity, class and gender will feature stunning costumes by award-winning designers. Includes the chance to explore the Grayson Perry exhibition ‘Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences’


‘Splendid Shreds of Silk and Satin’, Bronte Parsonage Museum, May 16 19:30-21:00

A unique opportunity to view the patchwork quilt worked on by the Brontë sisters and their Aunt Branwell, rarely displayed due to its size and fragility, and to learn from the Totley Brook Quilters who produced a replica quilt for Charlotte’s bicentenary in 2016. This special evening will provide an insight into the sisters’ needlework, particularly Emily’s, and the work involved in creating the replica.


Under the Sea Late, Horniman Museum & Gardens, London, May 17 18:30-21:30

A special celebration of all things coral reef related, with performances, films, and Q&A sessions with the team behind Project Coral, Horniman’s pioneering coral spawning research. Installation artists and set designers Abby and Alice submerge the Horniman under the sea with specially commissioned set dressing, built using recycled and sustainable material. Experience newly created dance performances from University of the Arts London undergraduate students. Hear live film scores from The Cabinet of Living Cinema as they take you on an audio-visual journey from the British coastline to the surreal world of French filmmaker Jean Painlevé. Have your face painted with reef inspired designs before dropping into our workshop to create a coral reef corsage to take away!


Whispering Woods: Open Air Storytelling Theatre, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, May 18 18:00-19:30, 20:00-21:30

Journey into the lakes and woodlands with Whispering Woods as they present a magical outdoor promenade performance that explores universal themes and celebrates the journey through life, performed amongst the ancient trees at YSP. This immersive experience combines aerial and ground acrobatics, spoken word, live music and fireside storytelling to create a truly memorable experience for all ages. Whispering Woods specialise in creating unique performances within natural settings using a blend of music, storytelling and physical performance designed to capture the imagination and astound the senses.


Historic Royal Palaces – Cabaret artists at Banqueting House, Whitehall, London for the launch of Disruptive Women, an alt-cabaret evening. The evening will feature newly commissioned performances from members of the alt-cabaret world – inspired by the outrageous propaganda of the anti-Suffrage movement in the lead up to the 1918 Representation of the People Act. April 18 2018.

Suffrage 100 Archives at Night: Law Breakers, Law Makers, National Archives, Kew, May 18 18:00-22:00

On 6 February 1918, 8.4 million women gained the right to vote – but it hardly came about peacefully. This evening includes an In Conversation with Jessica Hynes, discussing her inspirations for and approach to writing and researching BBC suffrage sitcom Up the Women; performer, writer and researcher Naomi Paxton discussing the fight for women’s votes via jiu jitsu; live period music; suffrage-themed photobooths; badge-making – and FindMyPast will also be on hand to help you research your suffrage ancestors.


Kew, United Kingdom Events Party Community
Archives at night: For your eyes only
Friday, 30th October

Hidden Spaces, Secret Places Tour, Tudor House Museum, Worcester, May 18 19:30-21:00

For Museums at Night, take part in our once-a-year-only, after-hours tour of the usually off-limits spaces in Tudor House! Explore the cellars and attics, and discover the secret medieval foundations hidden from daily view. We will start our exploration with a difference as we descend below floors to discover the ancient monuments in the cellars. We’ll then go upstairs to act as building detectives, wandering the attics and seeing the architecture that’s normally a secret only the staff get to see!



LightNight Liverpool, May 18, 5pm-late

On 18 May 2018 see places, spaces and people across the city come alive to celebrate Liverpool’s world-class cultural offer with one spectacular night of over 100 free performances, exhibitions, installations, workshops, talks and much more.


Full listings of all events can be found at www.museumsatnight.org.uk. Many events are free to attend.