UCL Festival of the Arts

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2015 Events

Monday May 18

Thomas Trevelyon © UCL Library Special Collections


Roberts Building

Treasures of the Written Word

A rare opportunity to view UCL Special Collections, one of the foremost university collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives in the UK...>>

Big Ben at night (© Miguel Mendez)


Roberts Building

A Nocturnal History of London

The nightwalker - whether vagrant, pleasure seeker, night worker, artist or just a curious academic - discovers a different kind of city beyond the everyday...>>

Diagram of a Renaissance maze


Wilkins Building

Unwinding the Labyrinth: Exploring the 'Eights in the Octagon' Exhibition

Why was the number 8 was so significant in Medieval and Renaissance times?...>>

Shakespeare statue, Leicester Square


Roberts Building

Shakespeare in the Twilight Zone of Biography

The internet has given a new lease of life to alternate, and until recently, marginal theories about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays and poems...>>

Rita Hayworth & Orson Welles boarding the plane 'The Rita Hayworth Special'


Roberts Building

Travelling in Style - the Trains, Planes & Steamships of the Stars

Learn how travel on screen has influenced public perceptions of film stars from the 1930s to today...>>

German Gems


Roberts Building

Objects of Curiosity: German Gems

Our panellists take a look at German history and culture through the inspired choice of curious, quirky, ephemeral or tiny objects...>>

Pigment Timeline Project (© Danny Treacy & Sarah Pickering)


Wilkins Building

Slade Salon

The Slade School of Fine Art hosts short taster presentations on current research projects...>>

Tuesday May 19

Knitted skin of a Tasmanian tiger - by artist Ruth Marshall

10am - 10pm

Grant Museum of Zoology

The Grant Knit-a-Thon

Inspired by artist Ruth Marshall’s knitted skin of a Tasmanian tiger, we have set the knitters of London the challenge of knitting the skins animals, in just 12 HOURS...>>

'Hello World' in several languages


Roberts Building


A Journey to the Centre of Sentences

Unfortunately this event has had to be cancelled. Please contact j.garwood@ucl.ac.uk with any questions.

Tavistock Square Gardens


Tavistock Square

A Place in the World, the World in a Place: What the Dickens is Tavistock Square?

Tavistock Square is a quintessential fixture of Bloomsbury yet it is also an evolving landmark of Britain's global and historical relationships...>>

Felix Mendelssohn


Wilkins Building

The Battle Near Prague! Grand Duet for Sweet Dumplings & Cream Strudel

In 1832 Mendelssohn asked the Carl and Heinrich Baermann, to bake his favourite dish: sweet dumplings and cream strudel. In return the Baermanns requested a duet...>>

Old cinema ticket


Roberts Building

Past & Present at the Movies: British Cinema-going of the 1960s and Today

Cinemas of the 1960s are often remembered as smoky places, without much in the way of refreshments but was going there more satisfying than visiting the cinema today?...>>

Boys Bathing (1908) - Henry Scott Tuke


Roberts Building

Queer Edwardians: E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence

Join us to explore the strange relationship between innocence, naivety and boldness in the work of D. H. Lawrence and E. M. Forster...>>

'A paixão de Amâncio Amaro' - Andrew Laurentino (book cover)


Roberts Building

Writing in Portuguese in London

Meet three London-based Brazilian writers and learn about their experience of writing and expressing themselves in a foreign language in London...>>

Behold The Sea


Wilkins Building

Behold the Sea!

With Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony from 1910 as a temporal, musical and ideological focal point, join us on a voyage in words and music to explore the relationship between Britain and the sea...>>

Mundas Intellectualis


Wilkins Building

Lux intelligibilis. What's in a Metaphor?

We say 'I see what you mean'. We speak of the Enlightenment. What is this inner light that helps us think? Who discovered it? What does it do?...>>

Wednesday May 20

UCLOrk (© Samer Abdallah)


Front Quad Events Space

UCLOrk: Laptops, Orchestra, Music!

Join us for a presentation of the history and practice of laptop orchestras and the performance of three or four new works composed for UCLOrk by its members...>>

© Max Colson


Front Quad Events Space

UCL Artists in Residence

Our panel will be considering the artists' experiences and the role of art within the diverse academic communities across UCL...>>

When China Met Africa (2011)


Roberts Building

When China Met Africa (2011)

Join us for a screening of this important film, described by The Times as "a rare grass-roots view into one of the most important economic challenges of the age"...>>

Man reading (black and white)


Wilkins Building

You Must Read This Book!

Come along and hear the panellists pitch for the book they're determined you should read. With five minutes to persuade you, time is of the essence...>>

Maria Tudor (Museo del Prado)


Roberts Building

Pregnancy, False Pregnancy, and Questionable Heirs: Mary I and her Echoes​

Mary's phantom pregnancies not only had great political consequences for her reign, but also had repercussions more than a century later...>>

Joker playing card


Grant Museum of Zoology

Games at the Grant

Shuffle your cards and roll your dice for a night of fun and fierce competition.Your games masters will be UCL researchers inspired by language, literature and the UCL Collections. ...>>

Thursday May 21

Notre Dame de France, Leicester Square Place, London, WC2 (Murals by Jean Coctea) © Copyright Mike Quinn


Leicester Square

Walking Cocteau’s Diaries

Join us as we explore Cocteau’s Soho to search for what’s left of the London Cocteau documented in his diary...>>

The Enraged Musician (1741) - William Hogarth


Roberts Building

William Hogarth: Shakespearean Genius or Limited by Satire?

Hear the debate, and make up your own mind, in the company of Dr Gregory Dart, Senior Lecture in English at UCL...>>

East European Language Trails logo


Roberts Building

Language Trails: A Journey through London’s East European Heritage

Whether East Europeans contribute to, or only benefit from British society is an ongoing polemic today...>>

This image is identified by the British Library as free of known copyright restrictions


Roberts Building

Getting the Word Out: Medieval Manuscripts Now

With the rise in digital media, manuscripts have become increasingly fetishised as reusable visual commodities, but what meaning can be found in their strangeness and beauty?...>>

Philip Glass' 'Satyagrapha' - Improbable production (2013)


Wilkins Building

The International Institute of Improvisation: (not yet) an Inaugural Lecture

Gregory Thompson, UCL Creative Entrepreneur in Residence, is matching UCL academics with world-class performing artists to enhance, extend and disrupt their research...>>

Friday May 22

Liberty leading the people


Front Quad Events Space

Passionate Politics

Come along and engage in conversations about key moments in which the political has revealed its affective side...>>



Wilkins Building

Seeing in 4D: Visualising and Making Shapes in Four Dimensions

Cultivate your artistic skills and learn about cutting-edge mathematics by drawing, folding and making objects...>>

Collecting the Emerging Symposium logo

12.30 – 9pm

Plus Saturday 23 May 2015

Wilkins Building

Collecting the Emerging

Join academics, curators, collectors and artists to examine issues around collecting new and experimental art...>>

Throughout the Festival

We Need To Talk logo

8 May 2015 onwards

A.G Leventis Gallery

We Need to Talk

Learn how communication technologies have influenced individuals and societies across different periods of time...>>

© Bea Bonafini

23 - 28 May

11 - 21 June

Slade School of Fine Art

Slade Degree Shows

The Degree Shows exhibit the work of students graduating in 2015...>>