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Sat 30 Apr  |  11am & 2pm | Shipley Art Gallery

The Acquisitions Panel

By Fast Familiar


A face-to face playable theatre piece about the legacies of European colonialism and who gets to choose the stories we tell.

Reading, UK. The local museum is contacted by a woman who has found a musical instrument made out of a biscuit tin in a box of things that belonged to her great-grandfather. The biscuit tin is from the famous Huntley & Palmers factory in Reading - so perhaps the museum might want it? Her great-grandfather came into possession of it in 1905, in Congo. During an expedition during the reign of King Leopold II of Belgium.

The case is referred to a citizen acquisition panel, convened to help the museum make decisions. As part of this panel, you will hear from people with opinions on the object, you’ll discuss with your fellow panel members - and ultimately decide what should happen.

Placing you at the heart of the experience, The Acquisitions Panel is an interactive performance by critically-acclaimed immersive experience makers Fast Familiar, exploring how we choose the stories we tell about the past.

The Acquisition Panel won the Activist Museum Award in 2021.

About Artists

Fast Familiar are an award-winning interdisciplinary collaboration comprising expertise in theatre, facilitation and creative computing. We make artworks which are participatory, playful and political. For us, art is a space to explore questions which are too complex for daily life - and a space where we can rehearse better outcomes for a world where no decision of significance is taken by an isolated individual.


The Acquisitions Panel is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It is commissioned by the Work in Progress project, a partnership between South Street and the Department of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading, funded by Arts Council England.

Image credit: Guy J Sanders

Ticket information and accessing
events in-person & online

This year's GIFT festival is taking place in Gateshead and online providing digital and in-person spaces for us to come together and experience work and participate in workshop activities.

Tickets are limited and Pay What You Decide

Content warning: this production contains descriptions of European colonial violence.

Recommended age rating: 14+

Duration: approx. 1hr 30 minutes

Event location:

Shipley Art Gallery

Prince Consort Road



If you have access requests please email to discuss your requirements.

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