Go on an after dark adventure at Cambridge University museums in May
Fancy a night out with a difference this month? On 12 and 13 May, Cambridge University museums will open their doors after hours for a series of exciting events including talks, performances and late-night bars, as well as the chance to explore some awe-inspiring collections once the crowds have gone.
Part of Culture 24’s national initiative, the event sees hundreds of museums, galleries and heritage sites hosting special events up and down the country every year in a huge celebration of local arts, culture and history. Here in Cambridge, The Polar Museum, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Sedgwick Museum and University Library will all be welcoming visitors – here’s what’s in store.
12 May The Art of Pure Observation of Things An evening of drawing at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, 7-9pm
Feeling creative? Spend a night in the inspiring surroundings of the Watson Gallery, housed beneath the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences on Downing Street. Following in the footsteps of 17th century renaissance artist Agostino Scilla, who pioneered the study of fossils, guests will test their observational skills by sketching some of the museum’s most beautiful objects. Free but booking required. All materials provided. Late-night cash bar.
13 May Cluescape: The Hunden Games Cambridge University Library, timed slots until 9.30pm
May the odds be ever in your favour during this interactive escape game at the 600-year-old Cambridge University Library. The year is 1416 and the Wills of Mr Loring and Mr Hunden, bequeathed to the library for safe keeping, have been locked away: it’s your job to find them! Can you and your team crack the codes and solve the puzzles, aided by the Library’s collections and a few famous figures, to be crowned victors?
50-minute game for teams of 2-8 players, £10 per team, booking required, tickets available from the University Library.
After-hours opening The Fitzwilliam Museum, 5-9pm
Celebrating its bicentenary this year, the Fitzwilliam is surely one of Cambridge’s most revered cultural landmarks – and this is the perfect chance to enjoy it in a whole new light. During this late-night opening you’ll be able to enjoy cocktails and Mediterranean nibbles, catch a jazz performance in the Courtyard, and of course, explore the collections. Free, just drop in.
Writing Lives: Death on the Nile with novelist Sophie Hannah The Fitzwilliam Museum, 6.45-7.30pm Talk and book signing Optional exhibition viewing, 6-6.45pm
Delving into the ancient Egyptians’ fascination with the afterlife, The Fitzwilliam Museum’s Death on the Nile exhibition is being celebrated with a visit from local crime novelist and poet Sophie Hannah. She’ll be discussing the writing process behind her new Poirot murder mystery, The Monogram Murders, and what it was like to be given permission to write it by the Agatha Christie estate. Plus, hear about her latest novel A Game for all the Family. Free, booking advised.
Lucky 13 The Polar Museum, 7-9.30pm
In the very capable hands of our local collective of raconteurs, Cambridge Storytellers, hear tales of adventure, glory, Inuits and trans-Antarctic expeditions at The Polar Museum. Costs £6, booking advised. Late-night cash bar available.