MGM 2007 - Seven Events For Seven Days In Museums & Galleries

By Ruth Harper | 11 May 2007
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a photograph of a Georgian period white painted house

Readings of the work of abolitionist poets at Keats House. © Keats House

We're already well into the second week of Museums and Galleries Month 2007 and there’s still plenty going on at venues up and down the country. We’ve been trawling through the 24 Hour Museum what’s on section for highlights, picking seven events for the next seven days from the hundreds of events already listed.

Next weekend (May 19/20) is one of the highlights of Museums and Galleries Month 2007 as museums, galleries and heritage sites up and down the country fling open their doors late into the night, with special events to celebrate Nuit De Musees – or Night of the Museum to give it its rather more prosaic English title.

But before that there’s a whole week of MGM events to keep you busy, wherever you live.

Shows a photograph of the exterior of the Museum in Docklands. There is a statue on a plinth on the right of the picture.

Explore West India Quay at the Museum in Docklands on May 15. © Museum in Docklands

Our rundown of the week begins on Monday May 14 with a dynamic programme of readings from the work of African and British Abolitionist poets and writers at , the former residence of the poet John Keats (1795-1821) who lived there from 1818 to 1820.

The evening’s entertainment will be rounded off with a quartet performance from award-winning composer Shirley Thomspon’s new symphony, New Nation Rising.

For contrast, join the gritty waterfront walk at the Museum in Docklands. Exploring the West India Quay from its development and opening in 1902 to its closure in 1980, this walk will explore and reveal something of the shocking reputation and high and low points of the area dubbed “Blood Alley”. The walk takes place on May 15.

photo of a museum with neoclassical facade

Everything Stops For Tea at New Walk Museum on May 17. © Leicester Museums

Head over to Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham South Yorkshire on May 16 to uncover the hidden stories of the museum’s fascinating home, Clifton House.

Built in 1783 as the home of Joshua Walker, son of the founder of Rotherham Ironworks, this great old house retains many period features. A special MGM House detectives tour promises to lift the lid on the lives of the Walker family and their servants before concluding with a pie and peas supper.

A different kind of refreshment is on offer at the , and Art gallery in Leicester on May 17 when everything will stop for tea. Hear the real story about tea: high fashion, moral ruin, international smuggling and poison and take a look at some of the treasures on display and discover the etiquette of tea drinking.

a photograph of a mannequin with a dress on it

The Surrealism and Design exhibition is the inspiration for a Surrealist ball at the V&A on May 19. © V&A

If you’re in the capital on the evening of Friday May 19 then why not spend the end of the working week in surrealist style at the V&A’s Surrealist Ball to celebrate their acclaimed Surreal Things exhibition.

Visitors are invited to dress the part and dance the evening away to gramophones spinning 1920s classics and original surrealist sounds. Surrealist performances asre also being laid on including Lady G Luck’s shrimp lady dance and Marisa Camesky’s levitation piece.

There’s also the sad fan raffle with the chance to win fantastic prizes - such as a piece of Jeffrey Archer’s fence! Can you get much more surreal than that?

No 24HM MGM rundown is complete without a good old historical re-enactment. Nothing beats miles of pristine bell-tent canvas, mead, broadswords, hurdy gurdys and – of course - grown men in skirts, so we have not one but two of them to round of this event guide.

a photograph a man in medieval garb polishing his helmet

Get that helmet polished to a high gloss sheen - in time for the Bede's World's massive Medieval Fayre on May 20. © Bede's World

At in Kettering they have gone for something rather ambitious - a multi period extravaganza of beards, cloaks, swords, cutlasses, broadswords more beards and anything else you care to think of.

Their May Fayre on May 19 will see people from many eras of history and all over the world represented by re-enactors and storytellers who promise to enthral, delight and terrify – the costumed interpreters include Samurai, Napoleonic pirates, Saxons and Vikings.

Finally we’re back in the good old era of wimple and codpiece – for a day of good old medieval merriment – with a Medieval Fair at Bede’s World on May 20.

The home of the venerable one is hosting the spectacular opening of the 2007 Jarrow Festival with stunning falconry displays, medieval combat, music, crafts and living history encampments.

The multi-period programme of entertainment includes an abundance of beards – and living history groups – including The Time Bandits, who will be performing a captivating interpretation of the 'Battle of Gateshead', an intriguing tale of rebellion, bloodshed and betrayal, which took place in the 11th century.

As if that wasn’t enough – it’s all completely free!

These are just some of the hundreds of listings featured on 24 Hour Museum for Museums and Galleries Month 2007. To discover more just enter MGM into the search box on this page or see the What's on Page to search by date or place.

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