Arts and Culture
14 February 2018
History Showoff is the chaotic comedy cabaret all about the past and the people who make it. This Valentine's day join a lineup of historians, comedians and experts for a night of tales of love, where women always come out on top. Your host Steve Cross, comedian and the world's most romantic nerd, will introduce performers who will warm your heart and fill your brain with wonderful stories from the past.
Our performers include:
, historian of sex and of the suffragettes
, from the Ask An Archaeologist podcast
, advisor to the BBC's Wolf Hall adaptation
, comedy historian of lesbianism
More from the performers:
Sian Prosser runs the library and archive of the Royal Astronomical Society, and will be talking about the romantic repercussions of the 1896 Norway eclipse expedition. It was too cloudy to see much of the solar corona, but the trip turned out to be a total eclipse of the heart for astronomers Dorothea Klumpke and Isaac Roberts.
Catherine Fletcher is an expert on sixteenth-century Italy, mainly as an excuse to holiday somewhere glamorous and call it work. She will be telling the true story of Renaissance femme fatale Lucrezia Borgia, which has less about incest and poison than you might expect, and more about cheese.
Hannah Cameron is a maker and a 3D printing fanatic. She only recently found out that using the phrase 'not tonight Josephine' to mean 'we can't do that now, it's bedtime' is not a common thing. Hannah will be talking about Napoleon's infamous letters to Josephine, which are both sickeningly romantic and seething with jealousy. A cougar of her time, Josephine had love affairs that infuriated and embarrassed him, although she did say it wasn't his manhood's fault. Not only was Josephine fashionable and elegant, making all of his female family members resent her; she was also a bad-ass, once unfazed by a bomb going off beside her, she carried on to enjoy her evening at the opera with shattered glass in lots of places it shouldn't be.
Paul Duncan McGarrity is an Archaeologist, Comedian and a knight in training. He is host of the ‘Ask an Archaeologist’ podcast and has appeared on the BBC’s ‘Digging for Britain’. Paul will be discussing Elizabeth Chudleigh, noted bigamist, romantic adventurer and taker of no ones nonsense. @PaulDuncanMcG
Cerys is a part time comedian and full time gay who loves a good old fashioned lesbian romance as much as the next person (which is a lot, right?). They will be talking about the Ladies of Llangollen, so expect some graphic depictions of sex and a lot of rage (mostly about historical research on lesbians but also about the pronunciation of the Welsh language).
Hailey Bachrach is delighted to be back at the Bishopsgate Institute with History Showoff. A PhD candidate at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe, she will be speaking about the real romantic adventures of a French princess immortalized by Shakespeare.
Jessica O'Neill is a freelance travel and culture writer with a passion for neon signs, medical history and petting your dog. She guides alternative history tours of London, and is a freelance culture, travel and history writer. She will be talking about the Biddenden Maids, conjoined twins, medieval biscuits, the 'Bread and Cheese Lands' and circus sideshows.