Mummy Auction - A Tale of Two TVs / by Lenni Sanders

This month we were at Liverpool Museum for our third and, probably, final performance of Mummy Auction TV, so this is a bit of a nostalgic look back over the process of devising, reworking and performing a work (and Napoleon, our lovely cat mummy prop).

From the very beginning, this was a project we loved. Being invited by Anna Bunney to produce our second performance with Manchester Museum was a real boost for us, when we only had a couple of projects behind us. The story of the animal mummies coming to the docks immediately took us, especially the characters at auction and the uses for mummies.

The research took us to primary source newspaper articles and also accepting a couple of apocryphal stories that made the tales gloriously fun. We spent time in the exhibition and with the curators to make sure that what we were developing was factual and a good laugh.

Making the props was done by the sound of podcasts about various Egyptian pharaohs. It was whilst we were learning about Imhotep that Napoleon was born, the ragged mummified cat that would become our talisman. Making for this show was particularly interesting because we we ambitious with the staging - how to make a giant TV? TV No. 1 was a bookshelf with a hole in which we had to carry in two pieces. TV No. 2 was a dismantle-able frame we hung a sheet off. TV No. 2 about 100 times better.

Then changing the focus of the performance for families, that was calling on our experience producing family focussed programming separately from iOrganic work. We did this successfully and we got such great feedback from our audience and Liverpool World Museums.

Now Napoleon is entombed at a local landfill, hopefully with all his cat mummy pals that were used for fertiliser….