The Beasts of London exhibition tells the history of London from the perspective of the creatures that have lived in this great city. From the humble pigeon, sly foxes and wooly mammoths to the fleas and rats responsible for the plague. The exhibition takes you on a journey through time and engages with your imagination – it makes history come alive through the familiar voices of the animals and their tales.
First up we are in prehistory and you can sit on large stones whilst you take in the very first of London Beats, wooly mammoths roam whilst you sit by the fire and prepare for the journey. Next up its the Romans and then the medieval age where dogs are made to chase rats as men wearing top hats place their bets. This is followed by the Great Plague and who could possibly be to blame?
Victorian times bring along the circus as animals were trained for entertainment. Ride along in a carousel or say hello to an Elephant before you find yourself standing next to noble horses from across the ages.
The Museum of London has collaborated with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to bring us this wonderfully multi-sensory exhibition made all the more familiar by the voices of the animals who are big names such as Kate Moss, Brian Blessed, Pam Ferris, Nish Kumar, Stephen Mangan, Angellica Bell and Joe Pasquale alongside actors from Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
We enjoyed the storytelling and digital art displays but most of all we liked to interact with it all – riding on a carousel, seeing the big metal bird, meandering through the streets of London and enjoying tales by the fire were amongst some of our favourite parts. Although the nine different installations which make up the exhibition are best enjoyed in order, the museum staff were very understanding to wondering toddlers wanting to explore and move along from room to room in no particular order through the exhibition.
Beasts of London is much more than a traditional museum exhibition as it allows people of all ages to learn about London in a fun and interactive way.
Beasts of London is on at the Museum of London until 5 January 2020 and family tickets are £20 (it is certainly worth a visit) – you can find out more about the exhibit and book tickets here.