Guest post: Enhancing a screening with music, props and werewolf claws

In the latest guest post on the Museums at Night blog, Claire Kirk describes how the Museum of London, Docklands created an American Werewolf in London night!

A photo of a hairy hand in a specimen jar

A grisly werewolf hand was among the props Claire's team created

Last year we had a fantastic turn out for our Museums at Night event: an American Werewolf in London screening at the Museum of London Docklands.  Alongside the screening we opened our galleries to the public, our amazing gallery host Dave Matthews ran gallery tours, and we had a bar serving drinks, popcorn, hot dogs and pick’n’mix (proper cinema fare!).

American Werewolf is a great cult film that really brought in the crowds.  The adult events team had loads of fun putting together a werewolf-themed play list (Werewolves Of London, Warren Zevon; I Was A Teenage Werewolf, The Cramps…), making fake specimen jars, attaching ravens to the museum staircase and constructing enormous ‘full-moon’ lanterns (which were cleverly recycled into Christmas baubles for our Festive Fair later on in the year!).

A photo of people eating popcorn and growling at the camera

Visitors with popcorn getting into the werewolf spirit

This time around we’re hoping to attract the same attention with another film screening, The Rime of the Modern Mariner. It’s a documentary about a subject very close to the museum’s heart: life on the docks, and London’s relationship with the sea.  Written and directed by Mark Donne, narrated by Carl Barat (the Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things) and with a beautiful score by Anthony Rossomando (the Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things and the Klaxons), it’s a stunning film and a must-see for any Londoner who has ever looked out over the Thames and wondered about London’s great seafaring history.  After the film, Director Mark will be talking to Brian Nicholson, one of the ex-Dockers featured in the documentary.

So at the moment I am organising the catering (always complicated in a listed building!) and planning what additional activities we might run on the night but, so far, it’s shaping up to be a great night out!

A photo of a woman smiling

Claire Kirk

Claire Kirk is the Adult Events Programme Manager for the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands.  She says, “For me, the best things about working at the Museum of London are our wonderful fashion and photographic collections, and, of course, working with a great team of people who are as enthusiastic about the museum and the capital as I am.”