800 people attend a Night of Fantasy at The Hunterian

Published: 27 November 2017

The Hunterian came to life on Friday night bathed in atmospheric lights to transform it into a magical fantasy world.

The Hunterian came to life on Friday night bathed in atmospheric lights to transform it into a magical fantasy world.

For one night, fairy sprites, witches, mad scientists and wizards were among a galaxy of fantasy fiction characters who took over the museum after dark.


The Fantasy Night at the Museum showcased everything from fantasy fiction and science, poetry and music to board games and English words and their meaning included in the Historical Thesaurus of English.

Some 55 students and staff volunteers from across the University of Glasgow dressed up as a variety of fantasy fiction characters to entertain around 800 people who took part on the night.


Visitors to the event enjoyed a variety of musical and literary performances and activities. While younger members of the audience took part in a fantasy quiz where they discovered the creatures which inspired the Loch Ness monster and where in Scotland you might find evidence of the legends of King Arthur.


From Peter Pan to Outlander, modern Scottish fantasy in literature, art, film and TV provided a dazzling backdrop to the Night at the Museum evening of entertainment. The event was inspired by the University’s newly established postgraduate programme – Mlitt English Literature: Fantasy.

The event was supported by Scotland’s Winter Festivals as part of the celebrations for St Andrew’s Day. Scotland’s Winter Festivals is a programme of events managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Frania Gillen-Buchert of EventsScotland said: "As part of our Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we were delighted to support such an exciting celebration of Scotland's traditions in the Fantasy genre."

The Night at the Museum was also part of Being Human 2017, a national forum for public engagement with humanities research.

Professor Sarah Churchwell, the Director of the Being Human 2017, was in Glasgow to take part in the Fantasy Night at the Museum which she described as “inspirational”.


Dr Rob Maslen, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow and director of the Fantasy MLitt programme, said: “What a wonderful privilege to have the magnificent Hunterian as a backdrop for our Night at the Museum event. It was a hugely inspiring and inspirational to be involved in.

"I wish to thank the many colleagues and students from across the University for volunteering on the night. It was a superb team effort and a wonderful showcase for the amazing creativity and work carried out at the University all year long.”


First published: 27 November 2017

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