Comedy night at the Museum

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News release: 15 May 2017

A spectacular comedy night is to be staged against a backdrop of 2,000-year-old mosaics, coffins and other relics at St Albans’ Verulamium Museum.

Paul Duncan McGarrity
Archaeologist-turned-comedian Paul Duncan McGarrity will host the one-off event in the dramatic setting of the City’s  Roman showcase.

It is being held to coincide with the national Museums at Night festival that is intended to “shine a light on Britain’s sparkling culture and heritage”.

Paul’s appearance is one of a series of exciting new events that the St Albans’ Museums team has arranged to explore new ways of displaying its collections.

The aim is to trial new ideas about how better to engage with the public in the run up to the opening of the new £7.7m Museum and Art Gallery.

The Town Hall is currently being converted into the museum in a project led by St Albans City and District Council.  Building work is due to be completed next year.

Paul, who has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival and BBC Four’s The Big Dig, will perform his show – Ask an Archaeologist – on Friday 19 May.

He will invite the audience to fire questions at him so he can give an amusing twist to topics ranging from the Vikings to the discovery of Richard III.

Paul often strays away from ancient history to talk about many other issues such as time travel and knitting patterns.

Councillor Annie Brewster, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sport, Leisure and Heritage, said: “Our museums team are cleverly devising new ways of attracting audiences to our fantastic collections.

“Using Verulamium Museum as a stage for Paul, who uses Britain’s ancient history as material for his comedy routine, is an inspiring idea. 

“We anticipate people who have never been to the museum before will be tempted to come along. 

“Our programme of dynamic activities is creating a lot of interest and excitement in the new Museum and Art Gallery which will transform the cultural life of the District.”

Ask an Archaeologist Comedy Night runs from 8pm to 10pm, Friday 19 May,  with tickets costing £7. A cash bar will be available. Tickets are available from Verulamium Museum or by phoning 01727-751810.

Councillor contact: 
Councillor Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sport, Leisure and Heritage, St Albans City and District Council. Email:; Tel: 01438 832255 
Contact for the media: 
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City & District Council, Tel: 01727 296130, E-mail: