An evening of 18th century entertainment with Museums at Night

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

The Bad Taste of the Town
Saturday 16 May, 6pm – 9pm
Free entry – charges apply to some activities
No booking necessary

On Saturday 16 May, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery will open after-hours to host The Bad Taste of the Town – an evening of artistic reflection inspired by 18th century life.

Part of the national Museums at Night programme and the first of four of Tom Marshman’s Beacons, Icons and Dykons LGBTQ artistic projects; The Bad Taste of the Town will mark the official opening of the William Hogarth: Painter & Printmaker exhibition.

Guests are invited to explore the museum galleries and peep behind the patches and powder at the lifestyles of the fabulously rich and ruinously poor in Hogarth’s world with an evening of big wigs, gossip, opera, gin tasting and more.

Delicious food inspired by 18th century life including, pies, tarts, cakes, wiggs, glazed oranges, and Pease Pottage and Mockturtle soups will be served throughout the evening and a gin-tasting bar will be stocked with five delectable varieties of gin.

Artist Tom Marshman and historian Steve Poole will unfold the underbelly of the 18th century throughout the night with work from a variety of artists playing with the themes at the heart of Hogarth’s work; exposing uncomfortable truths about poverty, sexual politics and social welfare; and poking fun at 18th century fashions for pretentious manners and exotic dress.

Performances will explore themes of corruption, class, gender identity, prostitution, poverty, sexuality and blackmail. There will also be opportunities to create your own Molly spoons and enjoy an 18th century hair makeover.

Bristol Opera will perform music by Mozart, Pergolesi, folksong and extracts from The Beggar’s Opera.

Entry into the William Hogarth: Painter & Printmaker exhibition will free from 6pm. The William Hogarth: Painter & Printmaker public events programme has been kindly supported by Zalando.

Museums at Night poster

Evening programme

  • Event Launch
    ‘The Bad Taste of the Town’ launch speech and tour by Tom Marshman
  • Fancy Gloves Dear
    Performance by Liz Clarke based on ‘The Beggars Opera’ exploring themes of corruption and nastiness under the veil of grace.
  • Free Lunch with the Stench-Wench
    6.15pm, 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm & 8.30pm
    Performance on the themes of poverty, sexuality and infestation by Catherine Hoffmann
  • 18th Century dinner
    Throughout the evening
    Enjoy a Georgian inspired menu of pies, soups, pastries and tarts.
  • Molly Spoons with Timberlina: ‘drag up your very own wooden spoon’
    Throughout the evening
    Explore themes of hidden identities and LGBT stories through creation of your own Molly Spoon.
  • Follies Salon
    Throughout the evening
    Treat yourself to an 18th century hair makeover with Ella and Nikki.
  • The Dark End of the Street
    Throughout the evening
    An intimate performance on class, gender identity and prostitution by Joseph Waugh
  • Devils in Human Shape
    Throughout the evening
    Listen into performances on the theme of blackmail by gossiping trio Danny, Rachael and Jojo.

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