Posted by: georginaferry | June 29, 2010

Exhibits speak for themselves

Last week BBC Radio Oxford featured the Museum every day in its magazine programme Jo in the Afternoon with Jo Thoenes, concluding with live interviews with the Director Jim Kennedy and many Oxford staff. You can catch the programme here for the next few days.

From Monday to Friday the programme broadcast a little series called Night at the Museum, in which the Oxford Dodo (storyteller Peter Hearn) introduced one exhibit each day. The exhibits told their own stories, voiced by local comedy duo The Awkward Silence (Ralph Jones and  Thom Short). One of the unexpected but delightful little jobs the museum has found for me to do during my residency was to write a series of 200-word scripts for this series, which meant choosing just five out of the thousands of exhibits on display to make into characters.

Naturally I chose the dodo as the host. I then went for a swift as the first exhibit – the swifts don’t exactly belong to the collections, but at this time of year they are a very vocal presence and as I’ve previously mentioned, they are studied as closely as any of the fossils or animal specimens. Going for as much variety as possible, I then chose the Megalosaurus bones, the Nantan Meteorite from the Touchables display, the statue of Charles Darwin and the tiny scale model of the Earth.

The idea for the series came from Judith Paskin, producer of Jo in the Afternoon, and congratulations to her for coming up with such an innovative way of  introducing the Museum to local listeners.

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