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Leicester Museums Events

Let’s jazz it up: Mid-week mantra Wednesday 5 April

Let’s jazz it up: Mid-week mantra, Wednesday 5 April


Leicester Museums host a wide variety of family friendly workshops and events, performances and lectures. Admission is free to Leicester museums and galleries, exhibitions and events unless otherwise stated. For event bookings and enquiries, please contact the host site. November's events are listed below.

You can also see all our upcoming exhibitions and events in our What's On brochure.
Click here to view What's on Spring 2017

To keep in touch with the latest news and event updates, please follow us on twitter and like our facebook page.

See what else is coming up:

May 2017   June 2017    August 2017


April events


Peter Liddle Lecture Series: The Anglo-Saxons in Leicestershire and Rutland
Saturdays 25 February – 1 April

11am – 1pm
Jewry Wall Museum
A series of six lectures on the archaeology of the Anglo-Saxon period locally by Peter Liddle MBE – former County Archaeologist for Leicestershire.                                         

Saturday 1 April Late Saxon Leicestershire and Rutland

Prior booking is useful but not essential. Attend the whole course or just come to individual lectures.

Light refreshments available.

£30 for the series or £6 per lecture (payable on the door). To book your place e-mail peter.liddle51@gmail.com or call 0116 221 4508 / 07758 194 353.

Model railway day & craft activities
Saturday 1 April
11am – 4pm
Abbey Pumping Station

Come and enjoy model railway layouts and have a play with our toy train set. Get crafty to help create the world’s longest paper train and take a trip on the sites narrow gauge railway. Refreshments available. Free admission, craft activities £2.50 T: 0116 299 5111
RSVP and share the facebook event.

Children's BookBus at the museum
Saturday 1 April
11am – 3pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Get your young ones into reading and visit the BookBus at the museum. This wonderful mobile library is packed full of books and is perfect for the under 5's. Free, drop-in event in celebration of International Children’s Day. T: 0116 225 4900

Art Awake Alice: Meet us in wonderland!
Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 April
11am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Fall down the rabbit hole and join us in the Victorian Gallery for another fantastic Art Awake workshop. Dress up in Victorian outfits and use your imagination to help bring this wonderful 19th children's book to life before striking a pose in our giant 'looking glass.' Free, drop-in event in celebration of International Children's Book Day. T: 0116 225 4900

The Lions Teeth; Sikh Artillery from the Anglo-Sikh Wars
Neil Carleton, Senior Documentation Officer, V&Amp;A

Saturday 1 April
1pm - 3pm
Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens

For the last twenty years Neil Carleton has studied the history and development of Sikh artillery during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many pieces were captured during the Anglo-Sikh Wars and brought to Europe as trophies. His research has helped identify surviving examples of Sikh cannon in museum collections that remained little known about or largely unrecognised.

This talk outlines their development and the story behind how they came to be preserved as potent symbols of the military strength and sophistication of the former Sikh Kingdom of Lahore. It also shows their historical significance as works of art and examples of the metalworking skills and technical expertise of Panjabi craftsmen and engineers. 

Free event. We anticipate high demand for the talks programme, so please book your place in advance by visiting the Anglo Sikh Wars website.

Storytelling in the Victorian Gallery
Sunday 2 April
Sessions running at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

In support of our Art Awake Alice workshop, storyteller Paul Gobey tells tall tales of wonder and excitement in our Victorian Gallery. Free storytelling activity. No need to pre-book. T: 0116 225 4900

Reading animal bones: The Highcross excavations and their contribution to understanding changes in post-medieval animal husbandry
Sunday 2 April
11am
Jewry Wall Museum

Idoia Grau Sologestoa of the University of Sheffield presents her research which suggests significant change in methods of animal husbandry during the 15th to 17th centuries, based on examination of animal remains found at Little Lane and St Peter’s Lane, sites excavated in advance of the Shires shopping centre being built in 1988. Advance booking recommended, £4. Light refreshments available. T: 0116 225 4971

Let’s jazz it up: Mid-week mantra
Wednesday 5 April
12.30pm – 1.30pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Surreal Dreams of the Slides presented by Shruti Arts. We invite you to experience the evocative sounds of the Indian bowed instrument (Tar-Shehnai) in the able hands of Kirpal Singh Panesar, contrasted by the lively Western classical Guitar with Siddharth. A masterful improvisation taking you on a musical journey spanning the Indian sub-continent from the foothills of the Himalayas to Desert sands of Rajasthan. Free event, for more details visit the Shruti Arts website.

Gold leaf calligraphy workshop
Saturday 8 April
10am – 4pm
Newarke Houses Museum
A day to learn the art of illumination using gilding techniques and real gold leaf. Create a single initial letter and enhance it with vibrant colours or calligraphy. Gold leaf, glue, brushes and paper are all provided. Light refreshments are included, but please bring your own lunch for the 30 minute break in between the session. £50 to book, visit the Calligraphy Arts website.

What Happened at the baths?
Saturday 8 April
2pm
Jewry Wall Museum
Find out what happened at the Roman Baths with a free guided tour from the Friends of Jewry Wall Museum. Children welcome. Meet at the museum entrance. No booking necessary. For more information, please call 0116 225 4971.

Life after Rome
Sunday 9 April
11.30am – 3.30pm
Jewry Wall Museum
During the fifth century our Roman city became a Saxon town. How did this happen? Friends of Jewry Wall Museum take a long hard look at the transition. Activities for all ages. A Friends of Jewry Wall Museum and Leicester Arts and Museums Service event. Free admission and activities. Light refreshments available. For more information, please call 0116 225 4971.

Comedy for Kids! "Superhero-tastic"
Monday 10 April
11pm, 1pm & 3pm
The Guildhall

Come and join in with some fantastic superhero stories and then create and make your own superhero character complete with mask, logo and maybe even a super gadget or sidekick! £4 per child (accompanying adult free) booking essential, to book contact The Guildhall on 0116 253 2569. Most suited to ages 4-9 but all ages welcome. 

Sketch day
Monday 10 April
11am – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
Try your hand at some sketching! Pick up your materials from reception and join other sketchers exploring our amazing art collections. All welcome from beginners to experts.  Drop in, free event. T: 0116 225 4900

Easter family event: Medieval eggstravaganza
Tuesday 11 April
11am – 3pm
The Guildhall

Bring your own little jesters and princesses to the Guildhall and make your own medieval Easter merriment! Crafts include egg painting, fanfare horns and lutes or try some medieval tapestry, face painting and trails throughout the day. £2.50 drop-in event. T: 0116 253 2569

Easter animal day
Wednesday 12 April
11am - 4pm
Belgrave Hall Gardens
Join us for our first event of the year. Take part in the Easter trail and say hello to our gorgeous animals and enjoy the craft activities. £2.50 for craft activities. T: 0116 229 8181
RSVP and share the facebook event.

Bunny Bonanza
Saturday 15 April
11am - 3.30pm
Newarke Houses Museum

Come along to our fun-packed Easter family event with crafts, trail, colouring and prizes. Refreshments available. £2.50 for crafts, including Easter cards and bunny masks. T: 0116 225 4980

Meet The Birds Of Prey at Belgrave Hall
Saturday 15 April
11am - 4pm
Belgrave Hall

Come to Belgrave Hall gardens and meet Kinder Falconry’s birds of prey. Free admission. T: 0116 229 8181

Get Creative: Wild Nile!
Saturday 15 – Monday 17 April
11am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
Explore springtime by recreating the vitality and vibrancy of the Ancient Egyptian River Nile. Get creative and make crocodiles and hippopotamus' before sailing your own paper boat down this ancient river.  Drop in session, no need to pre-book. T: 0116 225 4900

Penny Dreadful! Or, Mrs Lovett's Revenge!
Sunday 16 April
3pm
The Guildhall

There are chills and chuckles in abundance with this original one-woman show featuring Sweeney Todd's partner in crime, Mrs Lovett! Be appalled by a plethora of other grotesque characters from the cheap and grisly pages of the Victorian era's penny dreadful papers, in a theatrical comedy suitable for children and the young at heart. Go on - have a close shave with Mrs Lovett... She'd love to have you for dinner...  £10 / £8 to book, please contact The Guildhall on 0116 253 2569.

Cream Tea and Incest by Benjamin Alborough - directed by Francesca Leone
Monday 17 April
3pm (Doors 2.30pm) Running time: 1 hour
The Guildhall

Romance! Adventure! Murder! Aristocrat Eddie Spangler and valet Jeffrey must learn the meaning of these words and more in this new knockabout Edwardian farce. Delight in their capers, mix-ups, and the dead bodies left in their wake, in this loose parody of Jeeves and Wooster.

We follow Eddie Spangler, an inept, remorseless English gentleman and his loyal valet, Jeffrey, as a simple quest quickly deteriorates into a race against time when the Machiavellian forces of the aristocracy move to wreak their vengeance. Featuring delightful romantic misunderstandings, blood diamond trafficking, and the most realistic train-acting ever seen at The Guildhall. Over 14’s only. Tickets £5, to book please call The Guildhall on 0116 253 2569.

Edible Engineering
Tuesday 18 April
11am – 3pm
Abbey Pumping Station
 
Have some fun with food at Abbey Pumping Station by making vegetable engines to cook at home as soup. Be an engineer for a day by creating spaghetti and marshmallow bridges. Finish the day with trails and train rides. Refreshments available.  £2.50 for activities. T: 0116 299 5111

Anglo Sikh Wars exhibition: Arts and Crafts Session
Tuesday 18 and Thursday 20 April
1pm - 3.30pm
 
Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens
Opportunity for children to make paper 3D models of the Golden Temple as well as participating in colouring activities with flags and uniforms from the Anglo Sikh wars. Free event for children of all ages. Event as part of the Anglo Sikh Wars exhibition.

St George’s Day
Wednesday 19 April
11am – 4pm
Belgrave Hall Gardens

Join us for a day of swords, stories, dragons and wimples. £2.50 for craft activities. T : 0116 229 8181

Arty Party
Thursday 20 April
11am – 3pm
The Guildhall

Fun craft and arty day for all ages come and get messy and creative at the Guildhall! Bring a jam jar or t-shirt to create your own unique design! Have a go at weaving with fabrics, glitter and glass paints and clay. Face painting and trails all day! £2.50 for activities, drop-in event. T: 0116 253 2569.

Peter Liddle Lecture Series: The Archaeology of Medieval Leicestershire and Rutland
Saturdays 22 April – 27 May 2017
11am – 1pm
Jewry Wall Museum
A series of six lectures on the archaeology of the Medieval period locally by Peter Liddle MBE – former County Archaeologist for Leicestershire.

April 22: Medieval Leicester, Market Towns and Industry                                                                         

April 29: Medieval Villages and Fields                                                                       

May 6: Castles and Manor Houses                                                                           

May 13: The Church: Parish Churches And Chapels                                                 

May 20: The Church: Religious Houses                                                                    

May 27: The End of the Medieval Period

Prior booking is useful but not essential. Attend the whole course or just come to individual lectures.

Light refreshments available.

£30 for the series or £6 per lecture (payable on the door). To book your place e-mail peter.liddle51@gmail.com or call 0116 221 4508 / 07758 194 353.

Fossil in Focus
Saturday 22 April
11am – 1pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Drop-in to the Dinosaur Gallery to discover the 'Fossil in Focus' from our geology collections, with the opportunity to handle it and learn a fact or two! Drop in, free event. T: 0116 225 4900

Baithak: An Evening of Indian Classical Music
Sunday 23 April
6pm – 8pm (please note the revised event time)
Victorian Gallery, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
Enjoy a relaxed and intimate evening of music featuring a sitar and dilruba duet by Hakam Singh and Aman Kaur with Gurdev Singh Saggu on tabla.

The second half will feature a very special guest artist from the USA, Raginder Singh Momi who will present beautiful Indian ragas on violin, with dynamic tabla accompaniment by Rajvir Singh Bhachu.

Tickets: £10 full, £8 concessions from the museum shop on 0116 225 4920. 

Hannah James’ JigDoll
Monday 24 April
7.30pm (7pm doors)
The Guildhall

JigDoll is a new project created by Hannah James. A rarity in folk music, Hannah is a singer, musician and innovative clog dancer. JigDoll combines all of these disciplines in a beautiful new show exploring the life of the travelling player: sometimes exotic, sometimes frightening, it’s a world where home changes daily, and the only touchstones are the skills you carry with you, and the people you meet on the way.

JigDoll is the culmination of Hannah’s career thus far, allowing her to combine all of the disciplines for which she’s become known and take them to exciting new places. Much more than a concert, JigDoll features newly-composed music in a magical setting woven around percussive dance. What’s more, there are opportunities to take part in the project through free video tutorials here on the website, as well as following Hannah’s journey through her video diary and blog.

Although this is her first solo project, Hannah has worked with a first-class group of mentors to help bring the show together:

Sonia Sabri is one of the UK’s foremost practitioners of Kathak, a form of classical Indian dance which is strongly shaped by percussion; Karen Tweed is an English traditional musician known for her diverse European influences, musical innovation and skills in composition; Cormac Byrne is an inspirational percussionist who understands translating percussion onto new instruments – like feet; and Bush Hartshorn is an international choreographer and artistic director whom Hannah first worked with during the development of the Demon Barbers’ Time Gentlemen Please.

JigDoll is the perfect metaphor for the project: combining music, dance and percussion, wooden dancing dolls have been popular for at least two centuries throughout the UK and Ireland. Coming to the UK from Italy and France, they became part of British traditional culture. Often used to add visual interest to music gatherings, they were also incorporated regularly by travelling street musicians to attract children (and their parents) and to provide percussive accompaniment. Even now, the sight of the jointed jigdoll bouncing on its wooden board, arms spinning and feet clattering in perfect time to the music, is captivating.

Although there was a later history of jigdolls being commercially produced, it was much more common for people to carve and decorate them from whatever materials were to hand, and as a result they were unique and personal to the maker. They were found in pubs, on board ships, and anywhere that people gathered to make their own entertainment. (With thanks to East Anglian Traditional Music Trust)

Reviews:
“Those who saw JigDoll at Shrewsbury witnessed an elegant, flowing transition between tunes, movement and song.  Loops of accordion melody were left to play by themselves, augmented by feet-made percussive sounds  that repeated seemingly of their own will. It was Beautiful and Baffling” - fRoots Magazine

“This is a show I could take my non-folky friends to with complete confidence, and without fear of it being dismissed as just ‘a good laugh’ at the end. It’s brilliant, and it needed to happen.” – Tom Kitching

Tickets £12 / £11 to book, please contact the Guildhall on 0116 253 2569.

A Beginners Guide to Medieval Leicester
Friday 28 April
2pm
The Guildhall
Join our Senior Curator to discover more about life in medieval Leicester. No previous knowledge of history needed! The tour will be followed by refreshments, available for a donation. £4 Pre-booking essential to book please call 0116 253 2569.

Blue Lights Day
Saturday 29 April
11am – 4pm
Abbey Pumping Station
The emergency services join us at Abbey Pumping Station for a great day out. Experience emergency vehicles old and new. Take a ride on our own site railway. Refreshments available.  Free admission, small charge for train rides. T: 0116 299

Heritage Sundays: Tours and Open Days
11am - 3pm
Sunday 30 April
Clustered around The Newarke and De Montfort University campus, just minutes from the city centre, are remarkable buildings that tell the story of Leicester from its medieval origins to its manufacturing heyday.

During the last Sunday of the month visitors can explore some of these historic places free of charge. The area also has lovely outdoor spaces to discover including Castle Gardens and the tranquility of some of the city’s beautiful secret gardens.

Blue Badge guided tours of the Magazine and Castle Great Hall (From May 2017) can also be booked for a small fee. For full details of what's on visit our Heritage Sunday's webpage.

Will Pound & Eddy Jay
Sunday 30 April
8pm (doors 7.30)
The Guildhall

The dynamic and exhilarating duo of Will Pound and Eddy Jay leaves audiences breathless. Together Will Pound and Eddy Jay create a sound and show like no other. The pair read each other instinctively, forging a path to new folk sounds with harmonica and accordion together as one instrument.

Will Pound is one of the finest harmonica players of his generation whose innovative style pushes the boundaries of his instrument and the folk genre.

Three-time nominee for BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician Of The Year, he has held the accolades of FATEA Instrumentalist of the Year (2013, 2014) and Spiral Earth Magazine Musician Of The Year (2015)

Will has performed with musicians as diverse as Martin Simpson, Concerto Caledonia, Michelle Burke and Guy Chambers and is famous for his inventive arrangements and outstanding solos in duos Haddo, Walsh and Pound and four-piece The Will Pound Band.

Eddy Jay is a real master of the accordion with the ability to turn it into an orchestra at his fingertips. He was a key player in the arrangement of the hit stage musical version of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter’ (Kneehigh theatre) which toured US theatres including Studio 56 on Broadway (NY).

He has performed with Cathal Coughlan and Tina May, devised his own version of Prokofiev’s classic ‘Peter and the Wolf’ as a fantastic show for families, plus a show celebrating Edith Piaf show which has toured the UK and beyond.

Will Pound and Eddy Jay’s  new album, Ignite, is attracting much attention and was nominated for the FATEA Instrumental Album of the Year Award.

‘A musical exaltation’ – Lopa Kothari, BBC Radio 3/World On 3
‘A dynamic set of ear-expanding tunes’ – The Independent
‘Staggeringly brilliant’ – Folk Radio co.uk
‘Amazing, wonderful music! Two lads on fire’ – Mike Harding

http://www.poundandjay.co.uk

Tickets £10/£8 to book, please call The Guildhall on 0116 253 2569.