Arjuna’s Meditation: a play for shadow theatre

Arjuna’s Meditation: a play for shadow theatre

Friday 4 November 2016, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

The gods are at a loss. How should they defeat the invulnerable Imantaka ogre king? They must turn for help to Arjuna, one of the noble Pandava brothers, who is meditating on Mount Indrakila. This is a classic shadow theatre play about one of the great heroes of the Mahabharata epic, with shadow puppets and live gamelan music from West Java in Indonesia. Presented by Matthew Isaac Cohen and dancers and musicians from Institut Seni Budaya Indonesia Bandung, the story involves a quest for magical power, with temptation, unbridled passion, transformation, disguise, humour, and wonder found along the way. 


Art and politics in South Africa

Art and politics in South Africa

Friday 2 December 2016, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5,Members/concessions £3

In recent years South African art has exploded to the forefront of contemporary art in Africa, as well as across the globe.This discussion investigates the rise of the artist as a political power in South Africa from the 20th century to the present, with reference to resistance art produced during the apartheid era, the ‘transformation’ of the nation into a democratic nation, and the work of contemporary artists today who are making sense of their past in ways that are shaping the nation’s cultural and political future. Chaired by Exhibition Curator Chris Spring, the panel includes Tamar Garb, UCL, Polly Savage, SOAS, and writer and performance artist Leeto Thale, as well as artists Candice Breitz and Gavin Jantjes with video links to Professor Raimi Gbadamosi and other artists in South Africa.Presented in collaboration with the British Academy. 


Design a game

Design a game

Saturday 19 November 2016, 11.00 & 14.00
Samsung Discovery Centre
Free, booking required

Draw characters and settings inspired by objects from Africa to feature in your own computer game. Then learn programming skills on tablets to create games for other people to play. What will you invent? Suitable for ages 13– 15. Participants must bring a permission form that can be downloaded below. 


Group Booking

Group Booking

Every day, hourly entry slots
Enter through King Edward entrance on Montague Place
Free, booking essential

Due to the significant increase in tour group visitors and to make the visitor experience pleasant for all visitors, it has become necessary for all tour groups to book their visit to the museum at least seven days in advance.

If bookings are not made in advance, groups may be denied immediate entry to the museum.

All tour groups must enter the museum using the King Edward entrance on Montague Place. This entrance provides space for group visits and dedicated coach parking.

Please be advised that if you wish to avoid the busiest times for tour group visits, you should not book for the 10:00, 14:00, or 15:00 time slots.

During the booking process please specify the number in your group and also if the majority of your visit will involve any one area of the Museum's collection. If you will be visiting many areas of the Museum but not one specific area in depth please put your group number in the 'General admission' category during the booking process.

If the people in your group are aged under 18, please use this ticket category regardless of area visited. If you are a UK school and are looking to make use of the Ford Centre for Young Visitors or book any of our workshops/galleries please do not book in via this link but visit the 'Learning' section of the website for further booking information

If any of your group have specific access needs please see the 'Visiting' section of the Museum's website for more information on all facilities available. This is also where you will find details of our full Visitor Regulations. 


Highlights Tour: around the world in 90 minutes

Highlights Tour: around the world in 90 minutes

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11.30 and 14.00
Tours commence at the Information Desk
£12 per person, children under 12 with an accompanying adult free

Explore the British Museum’s most famous treasures with an illuminating 90-minute guided tour. Discover the Rosetta Stone, the Lewis Chessmen and the Parthenon sculptures, as well as some lesser-known but fascinating objects, with expert guidance that will take you to the heart of the Museum’s collection.

The tour is for adults, but children under 12 are free (when accompanied by an adult). The tour will visit a number of galleries on different floors of the Museum and involves a lot of walking. 


Maggi Hambling in conversation with James Cahill

Maggi Hambling in conversation with James Cahill

Wednesday 2 November 2016,13.15
Room 90
Free, booking required

In this special gallery talk artist Maggi Hambling talks to author James Cahill. 


Maggi Hambling in conversation with Sir Norman Rosenthal

Maggi Hambling in conversation with Sir Norman Rosenthal

Wednesday 7 December 2016,13.15
Room 90
Free, booking required

In this special gallery talk artist Maggi Hambling talks to curator Sir Norman Rosenthal. 


Members' Exclusive Lecture Joan of Arc: a history

Members' Exclusive Lecture Joan of Arc: a history

Monday 07 November 2016
18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£15, includes complimentary drink
Historian and BBC presenter Helen Castor tells the extraordinary story behind the myth of the Maid of Orléans – the peasant girl who claimed to hear voices from God. She became a teenage warrior leading France to victory in an age that believed women could and should not fight. She was burnt at the stake as a heretic at 19, and 500 years later is remembered as a saint and martyr. Helen Castor takes us to the heart of the action, to a tumultuous moment in history when no one – not Joan, nor the princes, bishops, soldiers or peasants – knew what would happen next.


 


Memories of Mandela

Memories of Mandela

Friday 13 January 2017, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5,Members/concessions £3

Staged in the auditorium officially opened by Nelson Mandela in 2000, this discussion celebrates and explores the life, character and enduring legacy of the South African leader on his nation and the world. A panel of speakers whose lives and careers were influenced by the leader includes John Battersby, co-author of Mandela: A Life in Photographs (2011) and author of the Afterword in Mandela: the Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson (2011), Pumela Salela, Brand South Africa, and John Carlin, journalist and author of Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation (2008, adapted into the film Invictus).
Presented in collaboration with South African High Commission. 


Otherworldly: a special event for Halloween

Otherworldly: a special event for Halloween

Sunday 16 October, 10.30 - 17.30
Clore Centre for Education
£20, no concessions

Cult television programmes and films of the 1960s and 70s are inspiring a new generation of poets, writers, artists and musicians with their atmospheric themes of contemporary individuals interacting with a uniquely British world of ancient mythology and magic, often uncanny and unsettling. This special event will feature lectures, film screenings, performances and gallery tours of featured objects in the Museum’s collection to explore themes of cultural rituals, earth mysteries, psychogeography and folklore. Come along and prepare to be scared! Organised in collaboration with Folk Horror Revival. 


Remembering Lancelot Ribeiro and other Indian artists in 1960s Britain

Remembering Lancelot Ribeiro and other Indian artists in 1960s Britain

Sunday 6 November 2016, 14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free,booking required

Nicholas Treadwell, the inspiring gallerist who took art around Britain in double-decker buses in the 1960s, gives a talk on painter Lancelot Ribeiro, his fellow Indian artists and the London art scene for incoming artists in post-war Britain. This event, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is part of a year- long ‘Retracing Ribeiro’ project and is being celebrated as part of the 2016 Asian Art in London week and the 2017 UK- India Year of Culture. 


Somali Week Festival opening: a Black History Month special event

Somali Week Festival opening: a Black History Month special event

Friday 21 October, 17.15 - 20.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, £3 members/concessions

Speakers include Ahmed I Samatar, prominent Somali writer, professor and former dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College, and expert in the global political economy, political and social thought and African development, singer-songwriter Ahmed Nahi Saad, whose long career has seen him promote the preservation and promotion of Somali culture and music, and London-based poets.

Presented in collaboration with Kayd Somali Arts & Culture. Kayd Somali Arts & Culture was founded on the need to preserve the literary and musical heritage that once dominated the Somali cultural scene. The term ‘kayd’ broadly translates as ‘preservation’ and captures the intention to encourage the Somali people to cherish their rich heritage and embrace their culture of artistic excellence.

For more information about Somali Week Festival, email info@kayd.org or follow @somaliweekfest on Twitter. 


The Crick Crack Club presents Kali

The Crick Crack Club presents Kali

Sunday 9 October 2016, 15.00-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£8, Members/concessions £6

Myths retold is a series of performances of some of the greatest stories in the world, presented in collaboration with the Crick Crack Club. Enter a flickering cave of wonder for a wild exploration of epic and myth.

From demure housewife to bloodthirsty goddess, gurgling infant to elephant man, meditating sage to cosmic fire-eater, Hindu mythology illuminates a mind-blowing world of radical transformations. Kali is one of the wildest shape-shifters of them all. Demon slayer, life saver, supreme mother, destruction dancer, this is a truly awe-inspiring goddess.

Join storyteller Emily Hennessey and acclaimed sitar player Sheema Mukherjee on this white-knuckled tuc-tuc ride through sun-kissed palaces, fiend-infested forests and every cacophonous, saffron-scented marketplace in-between.

Suitable for ages 15+

Emily Hennessey has worked and travelled extensively in India, which kindled in her a great love of Hindu mythology. She has travelled over 10,000 miles across India by train, bus, rickshaw and bicycle. She has lived and worked with a yak-herding family on the Tibetan plateau, studied Kathakali dance-drama in Kerala and spent several months at the Kattaikkuttu School in Tamil Nadu, learning from the children who perform stories from the Mahabharata through music, dance and song from the age of four. Emily came to storytelling while studying Drama & Theatre Studies at the University of Kent where she met storyteller Dr Vayu Naidu. She completed a storytelling apprenticeship with Vayu, and later trained with Ben Haggarty. She's also had the privilege of training with Indian Pandvani performer Ritu Verma. Emily has toured in India with the British Council and performed at the Delhi Storytelling Festival. Emily is a key member of the Pandvani108 ensemble. Find out more at emilyhennessey.co.uk

Sheema Mukherjee absorbed North Indian classical music and the western tradition side by side, studying sitar and Indian classical music under the tutelage of her uncle, the late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, and then with the late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Brought up between Britain and India, she has a rich background to draw on in her own compositions and collaborations. Today she is an established sitar player and composer, a regular in Transglobal Underground playing sitar and electric bass, a key member in The Imagined Village project, and a formidable collaborator with internationally renowned artists from many genres. Sheema has collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Courtney Pine, Sir John Tavener, Martin Carthy, Bobby McFerrin, Boris Grebenshikov, Natacha Atlas, Noel Gallagher & Cornershop, Mercan Dede, and Bulgarian folk singer Yanka Rupkina. She has toured the world widely and key performances include The World Music Festival (Chicago), Montreux Jazz Festival and the Olympia-Halle (Munich), supporting Jimmy Page and Robert Plant throughout their European tour (1998), and the Olympics Arts Festival for Sydney 2000. She also makes regular appearances at WOMAD (UK) with her own ensembles. Find out more at mukherjee.co.uk 


The Crick Crack Club presents The Odyssey

The Crick Crack Club presents The Odyssey

Sunday 13 November 2016, 15.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£8, Members/concessions £6

Come to the Museum for a compelling performance of The Odyssey by storytellers Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden. They will bring Homer’s epic tale to life with wry humour, poetic reflection and profound human observation. 


The Crick Crack Club presents Where the Bear Sleeps - The Kalevala

The Crick Crack Club presents Where the Bear Sleeps - The Kalevala

Sunday 11 December 2016, 15.00-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
£8, Members/concessions £6

Myths retold is a series of performances of some of the greatest stories in the world, presented in collaboration with the Crick Crack Club. Enter a flickering cave of wonder for a wild exploration of epic and myth.

In 2000 Nick Hennessey entered the world championship of epic-singing in Espoo near Helsinki, performing the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, to the Finns, in English – and won.

Join him in a performance that journeys into the deep, snow-filled forests of the Finnish far north, where the river of the underworld flows dark and fast, and the summer sun shines just a little too bright. In this world created from shards of eggshell, the sun and moon are fought over, magic is done and undone, and life is shot through with bizarre ordeals, misguided passions, magical battles and transformations. Expect a remarkable performance of elemental epic.

Suitable for ages 15+

‘Spellbinding’ SouthBank, London
‘Compelling’ The Times
‘He brings that rare combination of artistic adventure and absolute accessibility magical’ London Literature Festival
‘Captivating, powerful, perfect' The Oxford Culture Review

Nick Hennessey is a singer, songwriter and performance storyteller. He is a dynamic and passionate performer whose love for the traditional culture of northern Europe forges together the note, the song and the spoken word into a unique, engaging style. An international performer, he has worked extensively at folk, storytelling and literature festivals across the UK and toured to Estonia, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Canada and Japan. In London Nick has performed at Southbank Centre, the Barbican, the Royal Albert Hall and at the Soho Theatre. Nick was commissioned in 2007 by the Plymouth Theatre Royal to write The Crossroads, a short play based on the ballad Tam Lin for the celebrated Playhouse Festival. The play has subsequently been performed at Plymouth Theatre Royal and London’s Polka Theatre. In 2000 Nick won the Finnish World Championship in epic-singing, performing the Kalevala in English for Finnish audiences. In 2009 he presented a programme on BBC Radio 4 on the relationship between Kalevala and Finnish national identity. A distinctive singer and harpist, Nick has published three solo albums, the most recent of which, A Rare Hunger, released on Harbourtown Records, received critical acclaim on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and numerous stations in the USA. Find out more at nickhennessey.co.uk 


The Mozart family in London and their visit to the British Museum

The Mozart family in London and their visit to the British Museum

Friday 18 November 2016, 18.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£10,Members/concessions £6

The Mozart family (Leopold, his wife Anna Maria, and their children Maria Anna (Nannerl) and Wolfgang Amadeus) stayed in London between April 1764 and July 1765 and visited the British Museum. The records of what they saw and were inspired by tell us a lot about their world and interests. This special event starts with a lecture presented by Mozart expert Professor Cliff Eisen, King's College London, and Hannah Templeton, who has recently completed her PhD on the Mozarts in London. After the lecture there is a unique chance to view original documents relating to the family's visit to the Museum, presented by British Museum Archivist Francesca Hillier. After the viewing, there is a concert of related music by musicians from King's College London.
Presented in association with King's College London. 


Ubuntu: sharing South Africa

Ubuntu: sharing South Africa

Friday 20 January 2017,18.00
Clore Centre for Education
Free, booking required

‘Ubuntu’ is a phrase widely used in southern Africa, meaning the ‘universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity’.Come and celebrate the enduring soul of South Africa, and the shared connections its history inspires, through an evening of music, performance and workshops. Grab a drink at the bar, enjoy themed food, and discover more about contemporary South African culture.In collaboration with the South African High Commission. 


Why have ancient battles marked us so much?

Why have ancient battles marked us so much?

Thursday 6 October, 13.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Certain Greek and Roman military campaigns have passed into the popular imagination as enduring legacies of the ancient world. Spartan resistance at Thermopylae, Alexander’s expedition to the east, and the Roman defeat in the Teutoburg forest became legendary in antiquity and went on to influence modern thought, all the way to Waterloo and Hollywood.

Organised in collaboration with Reading University, this panel discussion considers the memorialisation of some key ancient battles, from antiquity to modernity, reflecting on how their meanings have been formed and transformed over the ages. From Reading University, panellists include Athena Leoussi, Emma Aston, Matthew Nicholls, Katherine Harloe and Rachel Mairs. Panel organised jointly by the British Museum and the University of Reading’s Ways of War Centre, The Classical Tradition and Reception Studies Group of the Department of Classics, and The Department of Modern Languages and European Studies.