Festival of the Mind 20th-30th September

The University of Sheffield has teamed up with the city’s creative community to design a magical week of performances, talks, exhibitions and activities. Some of the highlights include:

Sheffield’s Enchanted Woods – Barker’s Pool

Sheffield’s Enchanted Woods is an audiovisual installation that explores the complex relationship between the city and the woods; human beings and nature. Vivid images tell the story of the woods; an original score for harp and guitar evokes their magic.

The installation will run throughout the festival, but there will be a love performance by The Third Half on Monday 24th at 5pm in the Spiegeltent.

Cabinet of Curiosities: the Amazing World of the Denny Museum 22nd/23rd & 29th/30th September

The Alfred Denny Zoology Museum is one of Sheffield’s best-kept secrets. Since the museum was established in 1905, only a handful of people have ever seen the weird and wonderful stuff inside. The Denny is home to some curious creatures, including tiny fossilised flying dinosaurs, a dolphin that once turned up at a Sheffield fish market and Arthur, the half-hedgehog.

A Night Out in Sheffield with Slightly Fat Features – Barker’s Pool – 20th/21st September

Fasten your seatbelts, the smash hit comedy ensemble Slightly Fat Features are in Sheffield for the first time with their hilarious cabaret show. The troupe have entertained audiences of all ages across the UK with their critically acclaimed shows, including appearances on BBC Radio.

Part Cirque du Soleil part Monty Python, this comedy cabaret is an eclectic mix of high physical skills and orchestrated mayhem.

Do it Thissen – Montgomery Hall 23rd-30th September

The exhibition will also feature work from contemporary artists, who have been asked to respond to the material: Tim Allcard, Couk, Lesley Guy, and Sid & Mallory. The opening, on Saturday 22nd, will feature a talk by Martin Lacey, editor of NMX fanzine (and DJ at the Union’s Now Society) as well as a DJ performance by Jon Downing, one of the exhibition’s curators. There will be all day DJing on Sunday September 23rd, and a record deck on hand during the week. There will also be a showing of Eve Wood’s film, ‘Made In Sheffield’ and other performances.

On 29th September, there will be a special event where Neil Webb and Ron Wright use the records as sound sources and inspiration, Sensoria launch their Musical Map, Alex McLean does live-coding using scanned record sleeves. Register at doitthissenperformances.eventbrite.com and get a free beer at the gallery.

All Sorts of Wickedness – Barker’s Pool – 22nd/23rd September

All Sorts of Wickedness is a play inspired by research into real events during the Victorian era at Manor Lodge in Sheffield.

The site is well known as the Tudor hunting-lodge where Mary Queen of Scots was famously held captive. But scratch the surface of the official history, and you find the story of a 19th-century mining community who lived in rickety cottages built into the Tudor ruins.

It was a colourful place to live. A Methodist preacher at the time said it drew ‘the rabble of Sheffield … the scene of all sorts of wickedness’. The community lived through momentous changes in mining politics and unionization, as well as the anti-slavery and Temperance movements.