Press release

Wellcome Collection Gets Mouthy for its September Late event

Wellcome Collection opens wide on Friday 30 September for ‘Get Mouthy!’ - an evening dedicated to nature’s most important orifice.

Sounds of gargling, gulping and gossiping will fill the building as scientists, artists and performers sink their teeth into the maw-ish mysteries of our mouths. Music, talks, art, demonstrations and film will navigate visitors through this uniquely versatile chamber. Explore your vocal anatomy and discover how to see with your tongue. Find out if you're a super taster and how your teeth tell on you. Tongues will start wagging across four floors of Wellcome Collection from 19.00.

Professor Sophie Scott will explore the neuroscience of communication, using her work with real-time MRI to analyse how the brain processes speech. Visitors will meet KLAIR, the virtual infant who is learning to talk, as Dr Mark Huckvale demonstrates the latest developments in social robotics and synthetic speech. And Glasgow-based organisation Visibility will be on hand to demonstrate how the tongue is helping visually impaired people to navigate using 'echolocation' techniques.

The silence of the Wellcome Library will be shattered by the breathtaking harmonies of the London Bulgarian Choir, as its leader, Dessi Stefanova, inducts volunteers in a variety of teeth-rattling vocal acrobatics. Taking leave from changing the guard at Buckingham Palace, Drill Sergeant-Major John Halliday will raise the volume further, drilling visitors in some high-decibel tongue-twisters. And visitors should stay alert at all times, as singer Louise Crane will be supplying operatic surprises throughout the evening.

Osteologist Jelena Bekvalac, from the Museum of London, will bring the city's dead back to life through the clues left in their teeth. Visitors with a full set can take a seat in a 19th-century dental chair and get ready for the foot drill as Melanie Parker from the British Dental Museum helps would-be dentists practise extractions with a pelican and tells them all they ever wanted to know (and more that they didn't) about dental care in the past. Meanwhile, our oracles of oral health, Professors Mike Wilson, Derren Ready and Ian Needleman from Eastman Dental School, will be taking travellers on a surprising journey around the bacteria in their mouths.

Artist Charlie Murphy's transparent casts of people's kisses will be on display and, with the aid of her sidekick Giuseppe Frusteri, she'll be exploring the tongue's rich cultural significance, taking digital tongue tests in a mission to discover those with the best possible taste. Are two kisses ever the same? Identical twins and composers Litha and Effy Efthymiou will be collecting tales of memorable kisses and taking lip prints for a kissing wall archive. And through mutters, mumbles, rumours and hums, Professor Steven Connor from Birkbeck, University of London, will be illuminating the magical thinking we attach to the mouth, which he calls "the dream auditorium of speech".

An up-close and personal glimpse of actress Billie Whitelaw's mouth in a rare screening of Samuel Beckett's 'Not I' will head up the programme of film and sound. So whether you bite off more than you can chew, or just want to mouth along, 'Get Mouthy!' will provide everyone with plenty to shout about.

Get Mouthy! runs from 19.00 to 23.00 on Friday 30 September at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Entry is free. Drop in anytime.