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Durham University

What's On

Family and Community

Whether you choose to visit a museum, stroll in the Botanic Garden, attend a lecture, view an exhibition, see a play or live musical performace, there is always something to see and do in and around the University. Our busy programme of activities and events offers a great range of things to enjoy for all the family.

Monday 24 June 2019

Summer in the City

1:50am to 11:50pm, Venues throughout Durham City

Together with Durham County Council, we’re supporting a fantastic new festival celebrating the very best theatre, music and art Durham has to offer. Summer in the City will include a host of exciting cultural events at venues across the City. From Shakespeare and Gilbert and Sullivan to art exhibitions and workshops, there’s something for everyone.
Visit the website for full details of all activites, events and performances

Prehistoric Pioneers: a journey through life in Bronze Age Britain

10:00am to 4:00pm, Museum of Archaeology

This exciting exhibition explores the daily lives of our prehistoric ancestors. Discover their pioneering inventions, and a never-before-seen Bronze Age hoard recently discovered in County Durham. Explore life in ancient Britain, from warfare to rituals, and the way Bronze Age people buried weapons and treasure in hidden hoards. This exhibition gives a face to prehistoric people, and challenges the idea that these were ‘primitive’ cultures.

Contact for more information about this event.

Merry housewives of Windsor

2:00pm to 8:00pm, Dorwick Suite, Trevelyan College, Durham

Summer in the City
Falstaff, having played fast and loose with his money, attempts to seduce the rich but married Mistresses Ford and Page. However, these strong-independent-women-that-don't-need-no-men are far from impressed and devise their own plan to make a fool out of Falstaff. Meanwhile multiple suitors compete for the love of ambivalent millennial Anne Page'. Throw in a Welsh priest, a French doctor and a whole heap of drama and you have a show worthy of binging.


7:30pm to 9:00pm, Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, DUrham

Summer in the City
Fifteen years ago, Ray and Una were in love. They planned on running away to start a new life together in Europe. Fifteen years ago, Una was twelve and Ray was forty. Now, Una has come back to confront Ray about what he did to her. What follows is an intense discussion about love and abuse, and how the two may be intertwined.

Homelands: Documenting Centuries of Cham Migration

10:00am to 5:00pm, Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, DH1 3TH

Exhibition by photographer James Sebright on the lives and livelihoods of the Cham diaspora.

Contact for more information about this event.

In Pursuit of Elegance: Chinese Jades from the Arnhold Collection

Oriental Museum

An exhibition celebrating the elegance of Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese jades from the Arnhold collection of Chinese art.

Contact for more information about this event.

Things from Home

10:00am to 5:00pm, Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH

This installation of contemporary ceramics is inspired by the objects, landscapes and food that international students miss most when they are away from home. The works were created by award winning ceramic artist, Katrin Moye.

Contact for more information about this event.

Letterbox Productions presents 'All Over Lovely'

7:00pm to 8:00pm, St John's College Bar, South Bailey, Durham

Summer in the City
Two women meet after years apart... All Over Lovely by Claire Dowie is a challenging and passionate two woman play framing a furious debate about politicised feminism and sexuality.
First performed by the quirky playwright herself, ’All Over Lovely’ is a challenging, biting dialogue about adolescent sexual awakening, politicised lesbianism and womanhood, asking the question, what are we prepared to compromise when it comes to feminism?

Contact for more information about this event.

Tours of Durham Castle

1:15pm to 4:15pm, Durham Castle

Durham Castle is open to visitors by guided tour which averages 45-60 minutes.
There will be Guided tours at 1.15pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm and 4.15pm.

Contact for more information about this event.


7:30pm to 9:00pm, Trevelyan College, Durham

Summer in the City
The hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American are the focus of this unique, extraordinary musical. That the everyday lives of common men and women should be so compelling and moving will surprise and inspire anyone who has ever punched a time clock.

New Song: Biblical Hebrew Poetry as Jewish and Christian Scripture for the 21st Century

1:00pm to 9:30pm, Ushaw College, Durham

A conference bringing together leading scholars from around the world to discuss the why and how of reading Biblical Hebrew poetry as Scripture in today's world. The aim of the conference is recontextualization with the goal of moving beyond reconstructive historical work to constructive theological work. More information at

Contact for more information about this event.

Prehistoric Pioneers: the Creation of a Student led museum exhibition & Life and Death in Bronze Age Britain

3:00pm to 5:00pm, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library

Join us for a special two-part talk.

Durham University Bronze Age specialist and former British Museum curator Dr Ben Roberts (now of the Department of Archaeology, Durham University) will discuss life and death in Bronze Age Britain.

This will be followed by current MA students in the Museum and Artefact Studies program sharing their behind-the-scenes experience of creating the Prehistoric Pioneers exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology.

This talk is free of charge and will take place in the Learning Centre at Palace Green Library.

Booking is required.

Contact or telephone Palace Green Library on 0191 334 2932 to book your place on this talk.

Contact for more information about this event.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Archives of the last khedive. Making the most of the Abbas Hilmi II Papers

12:00pm, Williams Library, St Chad's College, Pascale Ghazaleh

The inaugural lecture of the Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship programme will be given by Pascale Ghazaleh, Associate Professor in the Department of History at the American University in Cairo.

Contact for more information about this event.

The Yellow Wallpaper

2:00pm to 5:00pm, Caedmon Hall, College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham

Summer in the City
The show tells the story of a Victorian woman driven to madness by dehumanising and destructive psychological treatment. Her husband and the doctor have agreed she should be confined to her bed in an isolated mansion to overcome her ‘hysteria’ after the birth of her child. She craves intellectual stimulation, activity, and loving understanding. Instead she is ordered to her bedroom to rest and ‘pull herself together’. Here, slowly but surely, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind.

We'll have nun of it

8:00pm to 10:00pm, Caedmon Hall, College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham

Summer in the City
1967 in the East end of London at St Lidwina's School for Girls. We follow four boarding students through their experiences, a look at life growing up in a Convent school. The production is based on real-life stories, encapsulating themes such as Irish immigration, loss, love and sexual awakening. A retrospective glance to a simpler time, four girls journey through adolescence, trying to answer questions that remain on their lips. From defiant teens rebelling against the system to those that are just trying to fit in, 'We’ll Have Nun of It' looks to explore, through song, the highs and lows of their convent experience.
Matinee performances - 2pm

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Caring in Movement

4:15pm to 5:15pm, Botanic Gardens, Hollingside Lane, meeting point near the fountain in the outdoor cafe area

These weekly sessions will practically explore how to move with awareness but without judgement as a way to stay well. We will engage our bodies, breath, voice, senses, and imagination with the help of various contemplative systems, somatic education, and improvisational techniques. While drawing inspiration from plant and animal life, from the elements and from each other, exploring attitudes such as acceptance, curiosity, and contentment. All are welcome and no previous experience is necessary.

Contact for more information about this event.

Shakepeare's 'The Tempest'

7:30pm to 9:30pm, The Gala Theatre, Durham

Summer in the City
Sightline Productions' version of "The Tempest" promises to be a spectacular re-telling of Shakepeare's popular play. This colourful, family-friendly production is re-worked to include exciting, non-western theatre styles and spectacular physical theatre.

Contact for more information about this event.

Thursday 27 June 2019

Tours of Durham Castle

1:15pm to 4:15pm

Durham Castle is open to visitors by guided tour which averages 45-60 minutes.
There will be Guided tours at 1.15pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm and 4.15pm.

Contact for more information about this event.

Saturday 29 June 2019

Face Painting

11:00am to 4:00pm, Durham University Botanic Garden

Fab Faces will be in the gardens, so come along and have your face painted with flowers, butterflies, glitter or animals.

Participation included in the normal admission price.

Contact for more information about this event.

Inspired by our Western Art Collection

1:00pm to 3:00pm, Palace Green Library

As Durham’s Summer in the City festival ends we will be making artwork in reponse to our art collection exhibition at Palace Green Library. Join us and take inspiration from all of the beautiful works that you have seen during June.

Contact for more information about this event.

Super Snakes

1:00pm to 3:00pm, Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH

See a Japanese snake model on display and make your own slithery serpent.

Drop in 1-3pm, no need to book. Activities are included in normal admission prices and are generally suitable for children 5-11 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Contact for more information about this event.

Voice of the Bridge

8:00pm to 10:00pm, Joachim Room - College of St. Hild and St. Bede - Durham University

Summer in the City
The stones of the Pont Neuf in Paris sing their seventeenth-century past as the beating heart of the city and nation. Join us for a performance of original street songs of gossip, protest and scandal, high baroque music, and words by contemporary writers.

Contact for more information about this event.

Sunday 30 June 2019

Durham Race for Life 5k 2019

11:00am to 1:00pm, St Leonards Sports Fields, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL

This is a 5k for everyone. This is thousands of people uniting with one purpose - to raise valuable funds for Cancer Research UK's life-saving research. Race for Life 5k is suitable for all ages and abilities. The event is non-competitive and open to everyone – bring the whole family and walk, jog or run 5k at your own pace while raising valuable funds for Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving work.

Contact for more information about this event.

Artist workshop with Betty Barnett-Brown

2:00pm to 4:00pm, Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH

Summer in the City
Foo Dogs - fearsome myths or loyal guardians? Does the spider sitting in your bath have the charm and cunning of Anansi? Animals feature in cultural narratives the world over and their characters are fascinating and complex. Study some of the examples in the collection at the Oriental Museum and explore the natures of these creatures by creating images using collage. All welcome, no previous experience needed, materials provided.
This is a FREE event,
Booking required, please call the Oriental Museum reception, 0191 334 5694

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Graduation 2019

Durham Cathedral and Palace Green

Tuesday 2 - Friday 5 July
Congratulations to all Durham University students Graduating this week!
Enjoy the tradtional spectacle of students processing from Durham Castle to graduate and be awarded their degrees in the Cathedral.
Ceremonies take place daily througout the week

Saturday 6 July 2019

Mini but Mighty

1:00pm to 3:00pm

See our miniature Indian paintings on display and paint your own masterpiece. FREE entry today for Durham University Open Days.

Saturday 13 July 2019

Chinese Calligraphy

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Meet the student curators of our new exhibition and create some no-mess Chinese calligraphy. No experience necessary.

Thursday 18 July 2019

Digging Deeper at Binchester Roman Fort

6:30pm to 8:00pm, Auckland Tower, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP

Join Durham County Council’s Principal Archaeologist, Dr David Mason, to hear about the fascinating finds made during recent archaeological digs at Binchester Roman Fort.

Contact for more information about this event.

Saturday 20 July 2019

Wonderful Weather

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Celebrate summer by making a Japanese weather doll and make a wish for sunshine... or rain.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Festival of Archaeology

2:00pm to 4:00pm

Celebrate the Festival of Archaeology with us, with a special afternoon of archaeology at the Oriental museum. Booking essential.

Friday 26 July 2019

Terrific Tiles

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Spot some terrific tiles on display in the galleries, then paint your own ceramic tile to take home. 1-3pm drop in crafts for children.

Saturday 27 July 2019


1:00pm to 3:00pm

Make a Chinese fan in today's family activity for children.

Wednesday 31 July 2019

Magic Metal

1:00pm to 3:00pm

There are lots of things made of metal in the Oriental
Museum. Spot some metal objects then try embossing your own metal decoration.

Wednesday 28 August 2019

CAMRA Durham Annual Beer Festival 2019

4:00pm to 10:30pm, Durham City Rugby Club
Our annual beer festival returns!
Attendees can enjoy sampling 48 real ales, key keg ales and 8 real ciders/perries, in a vibrant festival atmosphere.

Contact for more information about this event.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Blue Caravan 2019

7:30pm to 10:00pm, Hartlepool United Supporters Club

In a shifting music industry, you can rely on Ruf’s annual revue tour as the gold-standard for modern blues. This year – just like every year since the first trek back in 2005 – you can expect a night of house-rocking live music, as three unique artists hit the stage at clubs across the US and Europe. It’s your first glimpse of the scene’s hottest tips – before they become supernovas.

The Blues Caravan keeps on rolling with an extensive international tour that includes four dates in the UK this September, their final show takes place at Hartlepool United Supporters Club on Saturday 14 September. See more information here.

Contact for more information about this event.