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Manchester Museum's big send-off

02 Sep 2021

Manchester Museum hosted a number of celebratory events over the Bank Holiday weekend before temporarily closing its doors to the public so that redevelopment work can be completed

Family Gorgeous

Stars of Channel 4’s Drag SOS, Family Gorgeous, kicked off the celebrations in an evening of stunning performances. Cheddar Gorgeous, Liquorice Black and Lill turned the Living Worlds gallery into a cat walk, bringing queer culture and a joyful atmosphere into the Museum.

The Museum has hosted Family Gorgeous as part of its Manchester Pride celebrations every year since 2018 when the creative drag queens celebrated hundreds of years of tradition to reinterpret the Museum’s collections through a queer eye.

Local dance collective I M PACT, led by Yandass Ndlovu, then impressed audiences with an emotive dance piece, Vuka.  A performance journey around the museum at dusk, Vuka challenged audiences to wake up to how we tell our global story, and the lessons we need to learn.

Opening hours were also extended this weekend so that more people had chance to experience the collections before the temporary closure.

These events mark an important milestone for Manchester Museum as it reaches the final stage of its £13.5million transformation project, hello future. The museum is now closed to the public until late 2022, so that the next phase of construction work can take place safely.

Director of Manchester Museum Esme Ward said: “We are honoured to have marked our final weekend before closing with such amazing performances from the Family Gorgeous and I M Pact. It was also Manchester Pride this weekend so the celebrations were in full swing!

“Our doors are now closed to the public so that we can complete work on our ambitious transformation project, hello future. We will be back in late 2022 when we emerge as a new museum for the 21st century.

“During the closure, we will be holding pop-up events and outreach programmes and our collections are available to explore online.”

Cheddar Gorgeous said: “We’re delighted to have been part of such a bold, inclusive celebration at the Museum during Manchester Pride, and we look forward to returning in 2022.”

Yandass Ndlovu said: “Our site specific piece was developed to provoke thought, and spark action. We hope to return to the Museum in 2022 and bring works by emerging artists into the stunning new spaces that are being created.”