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Its seems only yesterday that I was thinking ‘summer is icumen in, loud sing cuccu’. That was back in April and I’m not sure that summer ever did turn up. Anyway, we still have our two hot summer exhibitions on at this Friday’s After Hours, so why not join us for some pre-bank-holiday-weekend downtime?
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Sex, shopping and dinosaurs at After Hours on Friday 26 August. Select images to enlarge them.

One of those exhibitions, Sexual Nature is with us until 2 October, but Age of the Dinosaur bows out on 4 September, so this is your last chance to catch it on Friday evening.

I recently read an article that said women think about shopping as much as men think about sex. Men allegedly think about sex every 52 seconds, whilst 74% of the women in the survey thought about shopping once a minute. Well, our enticing Sexual Nature exhibition offers an excellent opportunity for you to do both things at the same time.

clap.jpgThe Sexual Nature shop is at the exit of the exhibition and stocks an interesting array of items, including some very unusual soft  tocuddly-chlamydia.jpgys. When I was there recently, one young couple were ferreting amongst the cuddly sex diseases, as I had been.

‘It’s the clap, ha ha,' said the male half of the couple, holding up a soft blue toy. ‘I like that one, I think I might get it,’ said his girlfriend innocently. Cue immoderate laughter all round. (Cuddly clap and chlamydia toys shown left and right for clarification.)  I suspect the retail assistants have heard plenty like that during their stint in the shop.

You can also buy a Kama Sutra getaway travel kit or pop up book, a mini Kama Sutra weekender kit, Belgian chocolates, books on the erotic art of Japan and body language, lots of feathers and copies of famous sexually based literature.

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Talking of chocolates, if you fancy something a little more exotic than a Belgian truffle, come and see if a chocolate-dipped ant wafer takes your fancy at Edible Insects: Food for the Future, our special event on Friday.

 

There is certainly much innocent and enjoyable fun to be had at our Sexual Nature exhibition and some terrific animatronic dinosaurs in Age of the Dinosaur, so we hope you will come by this bank holiday Friday. Kick off your shoes on the grass on the Darwin Centre Courtyard Terrace and unwind with us over a late summer glass of Pimms and one of our tasty pre-orderable picnics or even a tasty edible insect!

Our romantic roving troubadour, Sebastian D’arcy Heathcliff is back once more, serenading you with his renditions of classic love songs to spice up your evening. 

And although our summer exhibitions will soon be leaving us, it is only so that we can bring in some really fabulous new exhibitions. Watch this space for more information of the late night openings of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opening in October.

Browse the Sexual Nature exhibition gift range online

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Today, instead of ‘Summertime’ playing in my head as it was at May's After Hours, Victoria Wood’s ‘Let’s Do It' is ringing out loud and clear. Why? Because we hope you will enthusiastically embrace the late-night opening of our Sexual Nature summer exhibition.

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I asked Mike Sarna, our cheerful American head of exhibition planning, to tell me how After Hours visitors might consider Sexual Nature. Mike told me that the exhibition is about animals and us – as we are human animals - and seeing the Sexual Nature exhibition (pictured above) is a good way to learn about ourselves and our loved ones.

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‘People can take a very active approach to the exhibition or a passive approach, they can leave comments, discuss it with their friends, anonymously vote if they believe in true love or not. The range in the sexual spectrum mirrors itself in the animal kingdom.’

 

To get you even more in the mood for Sexual Nature, tonight we also have our smoky-eyed roving troubadour Sebastian Darcy-Heathcliff (right), aka Jack Merivale, who will be smoulderig near the exhibition gallery with his guitar. Sebastian will be reciting some of your favourite lurve songs with more than a glint of humour in his roving troubadour eye. And if you are lucky, he may even compose a new one just for you

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Left: Fingerprinting kit for tonight's Crime Scene NHM special event at After Hours

Switching seamlessly from sex to death, we have a really fascinating event, Crime Scene: NHM, at this Friday's After Hours. At this you’ll get the chance to learn some of our world class forensic experts’ tricks of the trade as you take part in a ‘forensic investigation’ here at the Museum. The event culminates in a ‘trial’ where real barristers, police officers and a judge will demonstrate just how important forensic evidence is to a verdict. But there are only a few tickets left so hurry to get in on the crime scene.

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Switching less seamlessly to dinosaurs, don’t forget that our equally immersive dinosaur experience, the Age of the Dinosaur exhibition, is also available for you to experience after hours.

 

With apologies, our Darwin Centre Courtyard terrace will only have limited access this Friday due to construction work, but you can still enjoy your Pimms out there. Mini picnics should be picked up from the Darwin Centre atrium as usual.

 

Right: Pick up your Mini picnic in the Darwin Centre atrium, where you can also sip Pimms from the bar.

 

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