MGM 2007 - Our Top Ten Museum Music & Entertainment Events

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 17 May 2007
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a photograph of a group of punch puppets

That's the way to do it! Professor Bill Dane’s puppets will be at Llandudno Museum from May 22. © Llandudno Museum

Museums and Galleries Month 2007 continues apace enticing museum and gallery goers with a vast range of events happening throughout May.

Continuing our run down of taster events we have pulled together an eclectic range of happenings from our listings database - each of them with a distinct theme of music and performance.

As you will see, our museums and galleries are not shy of hosting everything from puppet theatre, classical performances through to a medieval music and a good old folk shindig.

Starting off with something small we begin by visiting beautiful Conwy and Llandudno Museum, where from May 22 (until July 22 2007) visitors have the chance to see ‘Professor Bill Dane’s Puppets’ or Pypedau ‘r Athro Bill Dane.

The Professor is a veteran performer who provided many hours of entertainment on the promenade at Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales.

After his retirement his puppet collection went to Ceredigon Museum and they have been on tour ever since. Expect to discover all kinds of puppets from traditional Punch and Judy to the French fable of Guignol.

an interior shot of museum displays in a large hall

There will be a fund raising Spring Concert for Bristol’s Glenside Hospital Museum of Mental Health Care on May 23. © Glenside Hospital Museum

May 23 is the date for Bristol’s Glenside Hospital Museum of Mental Health Care inaugural fund raising Spring Concert.

Organised by the Friends of Glenside Hospital Museum the concert features students from the Centre for Performing Arts at the University of West of England.

The Concert has the theme of musical theatre so expect the students to be banging out a few good old show tunes. It takes place at the 1H16 Lecture Theatre (formerly the Cinema Hall) on the Glenside Campus of UWE on Wednesday May 23, 7pm to 9pm.

All proceeds will go to the upkeep of Glenside Museum, which holds a unique collection of objects charting the development of Mental Health Care in Bristol and beyond. It is located in the beautiful Victorian former Hospital Church on Glenside Campus - handily placed opposite the Old Tavern pub in Blackberry Hill.

a photograph of an old stone built house

A night of music, poetry, storytelling and song at the Old House Museum, Bakewell on May 19. © Old House Museum

The beautiful old market town of Bakewell in Derbyshire will be the idyllic setting for a night of music, poetry, storytelling and song on May 19 at the Old House Museum from 6.30 to 9.30.

The event, which is part of MGM’s Night At The Museum programme, will highlight stories of the local populace from recent history.

As well as the music and storytelling, an entertaining promenade performance will encourage visitors to experience an intriguing interpretation of the human interest to be found throughout this fascinating preserved house and museum.

a photograph of two tram drivers in front of a tram

These fellows will be ferrying folkies round Crich on May 27 and 28. © Crich Tramway Museum

Just down the road from Bakewell at Crich you will find one of the most enchanting open air museums in the UK - at the National Tramway Museum.

When it comes to hosting weekend public events and rallies the good folk of Crich must be some of the most proactive in the world - and May 27 and 28 (Sunday and Bank holiday Monday) they will be hosting their Folk Weekend.

Encompassing a wide variety of folk styles the days run from 10am to 6pm and will feature loads of performances – from Celtic jigs to lively American folk tunes to traditional English ballads – there will even be folk concerts on the trams.

Performances will be informal although people will be able to travel to three venues on the redoubtable trams, which will ferrying folkies between the Red Lion Pub (real ale on tap!) the Tramshed and the Victorian bandstand.

a photograph of a man and a woman in seventeenth century costumes playing musical instruments

Musical marvel Richard York will be at Bede's World on May 29 and 30. Picture courtesy

While we’re on the subject of great open air museums, Bede’s World in Northumbria is holding a weekend of Medieval Melodies – again over the bank holiday on May 29 and 30.

Musical marvel Richard York will be on hand with his stunning collection of replica musical instruments. Visitors can listen to this remarkable medieval virtuoso play his vast collection, find out how the instruments work and then put their musical talents to the test by having a go themselves.

There are similar old music shenanigans back down in the Midlands at Leicester Guildhall - there will be a Garden of Delights on the afternoon of May 28 from 1.30pm. This musical afternoon in the Tudor Garden of the delightful historic property features 16th and 17th music for lute and voice performed by Anne Graf and Mike Ashley.

The Guildhall is also the venue for a performance called Dragon’s Teeth on the next day (May 29) from 1.30. This scaley story is for everyone aged three years and over and will feaature exquisite puppetry and live music, all wrapped up in a "beautifully bonkers" story.

a photograph of an Elizabethan timber framed house

There will be Elizabethan music at Leicester Guildhall on May 28.

The Horniman Museum, which boasts one of the best collections of musical instruments in the world, will be opening its museum and gardens on May 20 at 3pm and 4.30pm with a concert of Music for Woodwind Quintet.

This feast of music from the British wind quintet repertoire will celebrate the heritage of woodwind instrument-making and performance in Britain.

In tandem with this event is a concert from the Dearman Gammon and Harrison Trio on May 20 - again alternating at 3pm and 4.30pm. This features traditional English song and instrumental music brought to life with performances featuring concertina, melodeon, mouth organ and banjo. Why not make an afternoon of it and catch both shows?

They round off their banquet of Maytime musical treats with a concert by Mike Innes and Friends on May 27 at 4.30.

This offers the chance to meet makers from London’s newest firm of brass instrument builders and experience the cutting edge of brass performance and design with trombonist Mike Innes and friends in a concert featuring brass made by London Musical Instruments.

shows a colour photograph of a large conservatory set within a formal garden

Catch three concerts at the Horniman Museum and Gardens on May 20 and 27. © Horniman Museum

Moving forward into a more progressive age – one of long hair, long guitar solos and equally long concept albums, Dark Side of the Moon was one of the great prog/psychedelic/rock albums of the 70s and to my mind the mighty Pink Floyd have always had something of a following amongst the scientifically-minded.

After all, who hasn’t leafed through the record collection of a maths/chem/physics undergrad and found said album nestling between a copy of Tubular Bells and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath?

As if to cement this theory (well, kind of…) the Museum of the History of Science is holding a night of music, film, performance and insight on May 19 at 7pm and 11pm to celebrate its forthcoming lunar exhibition, called Dark Side of the Moon!

flyer for dark side of moon event

Dark side of the moon at Museum of the History of Science on May 19.

This late-night event will include a new film by Oxfordshire artist Rebecca Hind making a painting of the moon and a performance by Holly Slingsby entitled ‘Veiled’. There will be a series of films and animations about the moon and a talk by Dr Jim Bennett, Director of the Museum. Ok, nothing at all to do with the Floyd really - but a good excuse for a flimsy link and a great night's entertainment all the same.

Things take a more pastoral, folk-flavoured turn when Flora Thompson’s evocative rendering of English rural life, the novel Lark Rise to Candleford, is given a musical accompaniment on May 25 at 8pm at the Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham.

Ashley Hutchings, the formative figure behind Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention and the Albion Band et al will be giving a concert with his new ensemble, ‘The Lark Rise Band’, to mark the 60th anniversary of Flora Thompson’s death and the opening of the Old Gaol’s permanent new exhibition The Home of Flora Thompson.

Hutchings was the original musical director and performer of the Albion Band’s words and music to Keith Dewhurst’s plays of Flora Thompson’s 'Lark Rise’ and ‘Candleford’ at the Cottesloe National Theatre in 1979.

record cover showing two children and the words lark rise and albion band

Ashley Hutchings' Lark Rise Band will be at the Old Gaol Musuem on May 25.

Finally we finish off with a good old fashioned storytelling event at Bewdley Museum on May 28 at 2:30 and 4.00.

Alice Through the Looking Glass - presented by the Storytellers Theatre Company - is a fun-filled recreation of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece of Alice’s madcap adventures.

Visitors will get the chance to meet Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty and the Lion and the Unicorn, as well as the nonsensical Red Queen. The day promises to be full of memorable songs and lots of laughter. In this modern world what more could you ask for?

a photo of a cobbled walkway with shops and arches on either side

Storytellers Theatre Company will be at Bewdley Museum on May 28. © Bewdley Museum

As we always say, these are just a few of the dozens of musical and performance-themed events happening in museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK.

To discover more, just enter the letters '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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