The original contemporary late night eventAn 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) 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. Please note that if the event reaches capacity, we will operate on a one-in-one-out basis. If you are a V&A Member, corporate member or hold a ticket to an exhibition please use the Exhibition Road entrance.
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.
Queer and Now
Friday 27 FebruaryFrom the fringes of the underground to the drag divas taking over the mainstream, this is a world where pretty much anything can be 'queered'. Join us as we turn a queer eye on the Museum; challenging traditional gender roles and exploring the diverse worlds of alternative history, art, design, performance and politics.
All events are free and places are designated on a first come, first served basis, unless stated otherwise. Filming and photography will be taking place at this event.
Please note, if the Museum reaches capacity we will allow access on a one-in, one-out basis.
LOVERBOY starts this Friday Late with a beautiful, dazzling bang. Founder and DJ Charles Jeffrey brings the notorious East London club night into the heart of the Museum. LOVERBOY will be filled to the brim with melodious misbehavior, hot jams and fabulous people with which the night has become synonymous.
Black Cracker, a.k.a. Ellison Renee Glenn, is a hip-hop artist, producer and slam poetry champion who rocks a swag aesthetic lying somewhere between Dipset and Black Box. Based between Berlin, Lausanne, and NYC, he has collaborated with the likes of CocoRosie, Grimes and Slick Rick, and is an influential figure in the trans community on both sides of the Atlantic.
Amy Grimehouse is an immersive cinema/arts club night that celebrates trashy, camp, cult and transgressive film, art and books. Taking over the decks from 20.45, Amy Grimehouse DJs will play tunes from queer icons, including David Bowie, Kate Bush, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Grace Jones, Cher, Gina X, Minty and Arthur Russell and more.
This is no ordinary piñata. It’s an installation version of Rachael House’s participatory project, ‘Challenge Heteronormativity’. This piñata is a tempting invitation to pick up a stick and literally challenge the notion by taking aim at the word itself. Though you can’t physically challenge it tonight, (museum rules), let it provoke your thoughts instead.
The Factory Studio
At Queer and Now, everyone will be world famous for 1.5 minutes. The Amy Grimehouse crew will document the beautiful queers attending Friday Late. As the evening progresses, volunteer for a portrait and see yourself in the Grand Entrance. Portraits will be available to download shortly after the event.
How Bona to Varda your Dolly Old Eek! Limited edition Grimehouse Queer Icons poster
Amy Grimehouse and their design partners Uandnonu [you-and-non-you] are producing a limited edition poster for Queer and Now. One side celebrates queer icons, many of whom feature in the V&A collection. On the other side is an irreverent guide to queer signifiers. Posters will be available in the Grand Entrance and distributed throughout the evening.
The Sizzle Sisters
The trans-tastic Sizzle’s Sisters have been kicking up a storm in their stomping grounds of Hackney and Camden since their debut performance at London's Guilty Pleasures night at KOKO. An eclectic mix of DJs, models, performers, dancers and designers this ten-legged dance machine are here to thrill and tease all your senses. Hosted by Rubyyy Jones.
Gallery 46b, Cast Courts
Take a walk through the sculptures in the Cast Courts, where tonight some of the sculptures are more lifelike than usual. Stones confronts the constricting physical idealism and rigid social identities embodied in classical sculpture, and inherent in our own culture, by inviting real people to become living sculptures for an evening.
I AM YOU
I Am You invites you to step out of your own skin, and to experience the sensation of occupying a body other than the one you rocked up in. Combining the VR tech of the Oculus Rift with 3D video, this digital art experiment generates an out-of-body-into-body experience, allowing an exploration of how our physical form gives definition to the self.
Salon Outré presents a programme of dance, choral and spoken word performances in collaboration with the V&A LGBTQ Working Group. Patrick Gale will read from his upcoming novel A Place Called Winter as he shares the stage with dancers and choristers performing works that celebrate the heroes of LGBTQ culture. Witness a ballet extract from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, a burlesque set to Kylie’s buoyant pop beats, readings from Shakespeare's homoerotic sonnets, dance tributes to icons of the V&A's Theatre and Performance Galleries, and more.
18.45 & 19.30
FRIDAAA is a contemporary dance based cabaret piece created by Rubyyy Jones. Examining the seconds before, during and after Frida Kahlo's life changing accident. Using a soundscape specially created by Sounds Wilde, Rubyyy’s work is an intense, bittersweet homage to Frida Kahlo.
Choreography also by Jonathon Atwood.
London based artist Paul Harfleet plants a single pansy at the sites of homophobic abuse or attack; he finds the nearest source of soil to where the incident occurred, plants the flower and records it in a photograph. Exploring objects in the V&A that have used the image of the pansy, Harfleet presents correspondences between pansies in the collection and those the artist previously planted. Harfleet has planted around the world and later this year will be continuing his project throughout France as part of a documentary commissioned by Canal+.
There’s No Place Like Homo: the Deconstruction of the Queer Country House
National Art Library
Domestic spaces have historically been some of the very few places where queer lives could be safely enacted and lived. Sean Curran discusses National Trust properties, and other houses open to the public, as they make a case for activism in heritage sites to ensure queer voices are heard in these spaces. This talk showcases their own interventions, including projects at Sutton House in Hackney and a multimedia protest based on Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire.
All In Good TasteNational Art Library
Come and see a show-and-tell of books and other objects in the V&A’s collection created by queer designers from the early to mid-20th century. Find out about the work of Elsie de Wolfe, Eileen Gray, Constance Spry, Enid Marx, John Minton and Derek Patmore. Hear about the impact these designers had on the interiors and lifestyles of the period and the influence they had on queer and straight-but-likeminded cultural icons. All of the books and ephemera can be consulted in the National Art Library, which anyone is welcome to use. Please see the National Art Library pages on the V&A website for further details.
Please note coats and bags are not permitted in the Library. Please leave these items in the cloakroom on the ground floor.
I am a Citizen of these Cities’: Bearing Queer Witness to the 20thC
Seminar Room 1, Learning Centre
Join author Frances Bingham as she explores the life and works of Valentine Ackland, a ‘charismatic, cross-dressing communist who wrote startling poetry while living an uncompromising life.’ Reading from her edited collection of this modernist British poet’s work, some of the most hauntingly erotic poetry of the twentieth-century, Bingham is joined by art historian, Dr. Amy Mechowski, to discuss Ackland’s history and legacy.
Write Queer, Write Now
Seminar Room 1, Learning Centre
19.00 & 20.30
However you identify, as a closet poet, a queer observer or a dramatic queen, this is your opportunity to engage with Museum exhibits to produce your own creative writing, guided by Cat Brogan, spoken word poet and educator.
Art Studio, Learning Studio
Open Barbers is a hairdressing service for any length. Setting up shop in the Museum, they will be offering free haircuts and creating a temporary community space. They aim to prompt dialogue around identity, gender, sexuality, queerness, and the politics of hair, presentation, and style. Sign up on the night and browse the library of zines while you wait for your first-come, first-served cut.
Quests for Lost Histories
Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Visual artist Sara Davidmann and Jack Halberstam, one of the leading voices in gender theory and queer studies will be in conversation about their recent collaborative work and Sara’s project, Ken. To be Destroyed. Created after Davidmann discovered her late uncle’s secret transgender life, the project addresses memorabilia, family, LGBTQ lives, history and the unknowable.
From the Queer Film Archives
Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project is the only programme in the world devoted to preserving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving image media. Tonight we show a tantalising selection of what the Legacy Project is helping to protect, including early silent film, documentaries, home movies, interviews and feature-film outtakes.
Programme Cover DesignSouvenir programme wrap created by cartoonist and illustrator David Shenton.
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.
Also On Tonight
Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s
16 February 2015 – 24 May 2015
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Wedding Dresses 1775 - 2014
3 May 2014 - 15 March 2015
Travel Partner Kuoni
Supported by Monsoon Bridal and Waterford Crystal
V&A presents Friday Late
Spectacle of the Species
Friday 27 March
March’s Friday Late celebrates the V&A’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition. From cocoons in gestation to birds in flight, the natural world was fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s most prominent source of inspiration. Join us for an evening of skeletal armoury, skins, scales and crystals as we explore the natural elements that were intrinsic to McQueen’s vision.
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.