Open daily 10.00 to 17.45 Admission free Menu

The original contemporary late night event

An ever-changing, curated programme of live performances, cutting-edge fashion, film, installations, debates, special guests and DJs, with bars, food, and late-night exhibition openings.

Held on the last Friday in every month (except December & September) from 18.30 - 22.00.

Friday Late is free and drop in. All events are available on a first come, first served basis.

All visitors to Friday Late should use the main entrance on Cromwell Road. If you are a V&A Member, corporate member or hold a ticket to an exhibition please use the Exhibition Road entrance.

Exhibition Tickets are available from the Exhibition Ticket Desks. Tickets are subject to availability, and no booking fee applies. Please note tills close at 20.30.

Please note, if the Museum reaches capacity we will allow access on a one-in, one-out basis.

Filming and photography will take place at this event. 


Friday Late: The Potteries

The Potteries

Friday 30 October
18.30 – 22.00

October’s Friday Late invites the hotpot of cultural activity that is The Potteries to take over the museum for a night. Explore the making and meaning of ceramics, dine at Wedgwood's pop-up tearoom and move to some Northern Soul as we celebrate with British manufacturers, artists and designers that continue to fire-up Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramic heritage. In collaboration with the British Ceramics Biennial 2015.

British Ceramics Biennial




Dave Evison’s Northern Soul
Grand Entrance

Stoke-on-Trent (dubbed Soul-on-Trent) was once a mecca for music. Stokies, Scousers, Mancunians and Cockneys—everyone’s invited to come and move to the sounds of Northern Soul. Dave Evison has been on the Northern Soul scene since the 1960s, he owns over 15,000 records and was one of the original DJs to play at the legendary soul centre Wigan Casino. Keep the Faith!

Vase en Vogue
Gallery 139

Returning to a time when having a vase in your home was the height of fashion, ceramicist Amy Jayne Hughes recreates an interactive Joshua Reynolds—inspired scene for you to step into. Dress up, pose and smile for the camera as Hughes creates a new place in contemporary culture for this icon of British home décor.

Memories of Pot Bank workers
Room 145 and Room 146

Discover the people behind the pots displayed in our ceramic galleries. Thousands of people in Stoke-on-Trent worked in ‘pot banks’ as part of the booming ceramics industry from the 1800s through to the 1980s. Now only a handful of pot banks remain. Hear the stories of workers past and present share their memories in this series of pop-up dramatised readings. 

Cruising the Potteries
Gallery 143, Display Case

Questioning why so many ceramic figurines seem camp, V&A ceramic artist in residence Matt Smith explores what they can tell us about contemporary gender performance.  Smith has curated a collection of historic figurines, objects and moulds to shake up our perspective and create new ways of viewing the past. Hear Smith talk about the display and answer any questions throughout the evening.

Dancing in the Boardroom, (Turnin’ My Heartbeat Up) 2013
Room 107

Chloë Brown’s Dancing in the Boardroom, (Turnin’ My Heartbeat Up) was filmed in the boardroom of the disused Spode ceramics factory in Stoke-on-Trent. This film explores notions of the post-industrial ruin in combination with the city’s prominence within the history of Northern Soul culture. Watch as two dancers playfully and subtly question the once iconic space, defined by the factory’s history, legacy and socio-political context. This film is part of Brown’s international research project ‘Topographies of the Obsolete’.
(5 mins 33)

Neil Brownsword: Re-Apprenticed
Raphael, Room 48a

Re-Apprenticed is a performative installation by artist Neil Brownsword in collaboration with a group of former ceramic industry employees. Through his observation of numerous endangered industrial craft practices, Brownsword attempts to illuminate the hidden sequence of actions that accrue to meet the demands of each skill base. The subtle nuances of material and haptic knowledge, pace and timing, and the rhythmical and repetitive movements attuned to fulfill specific tasks will be explored through a live series of outputs.

Pits or Pots
Gallery 145

Pits or Pots: which would you choose? Come and sculpt bottle kilns and coal mines, canals and factories to create a clay sculpture depicting The Potteries and popular local career choices in the 1980s. This drop-in workshop is facilitated by Clayground Collective who celebrate the materiality of clay, harnessing hand skills to create public artworks.

The Tower of Babel
50a, Medieval & Renaissance Gallery

Standing an imposing six metres high, the Tower comprises 3000 bone china shops, each one unique, each depicting a real London shop photographed by the artist.
This major sculptural installation was created by artist Barnaby Barford to tell an array of stories about our capital city, our society and economy, and ourselves as consumers.

Programme cover design

Souvenir programme wrap created by London-based illustrator Katie Spragg.

Food & Drink

Drinks are available in the Grand Entrance throughout the evening and in the John Madejski Garden (weather permitting).
Food and drinks will be served in the Café until 21.00.

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About Friday Late

Friday Late began in 1999, establishing the much-copied format for London cultural centres' evening events. The programme celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in society, bringing audiences face-to-face with both leading and emerging artists and designers. By providing a platform through which to test ideas and challenge convention, Friday Late aims to inspire and provoke, whilst encouraging audiences to interact with the Museum’s collections in new ways.

Also on tonight

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain
Until 31 January 2016
Sponsored by Clarks
Supported by Agent Provocateur;
with additional thanks to The Worshipful Society of Cordwainers

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