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A night filled with discoveries

Night of Discoveries is where you get to find out all about research at Leiden. On 21 September, the picturesque city centre will form the backdrop to a programme filled with lectures, talk shows, music, theatre and excursions. And many are in English. Here are a few of the highlights.

Photo shoot à la Rembrandt

Photographer Andor Kranenburg will have you looking like a Rembrandt in no time. He can replicate the great Dutch master’s famous light and has boxes full of props – collars, lace, corsets – that will take you back to the good old days. Rembrandt died 350 years ago this year, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed in his hometown of Leiden... nor at the Night of Discoveries. Bonus tip: take a painting lesson!

Researchers from Leiden University

Leiden University will, of course, be represented during the Night, and its researchers will be out in force. Hear all about the dark side of the Enlightenment, conservation of all animals ( humans too), the threat of antibiotic resistance and cleaning up the mess in space, for instance. Alternatively, see if you can solve the linguistic conundrums and escape from linguistics.

Blooming of Darkness: dance theatre 

Fields of Wonder prefers unusual settings for its dance theatre, and the Night will be no different, with Rapenburg setting the scene for its act Blooming of Darkness. Scenographer Geert van der Velden gained inspiration from Butoh, a form of Japanese dance theatre meaning ‘dance of darkness’ in which the relationship between location and performance is made visible. Expect the unexpected.

Musical interlude: Lucky Fonz III & Paul de Munnik

Music maestro! The Night would not be complete without music and bands here and there. Paul de Munnik was one half of Dutch duo Acda & De Munnik. Since the duo went their separate ways in 2015, De Munnik released solo albums in 2016 and 2018. At the Night of Discoveries, he and guitarist Patrick van Herrikhuyzen will take the audience on a calm but witty journey to all that has touched and inspired him. Also in the house is Lucky Fonz III, one of the most popular singers and live artists in the Netherlands. With his madcap humour, high-level audience interaction and touching songs, he has stolen the hearts of the audience at big festivals and small theatre shows.

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On safari in the canals of Leiden

Dive into the wonderful underwater world of Leiden on this watery safari. Figuratively, because you won’t need to don your wetsuit. From the canalside, you will hunt for the 20 or more fish and crayfish that have set up home in the canals of Leiden. You’ll see the canals through different eyes. This may involve kneeling down to scrutinise a particular fish or animal, so save your best party frock for another occasion!

The dark cellars of Leiden

Not for those who are scared of the dark, this dark, dark excursion through the dark, dark cellars of Leiden. You’ll hear all about the hidden history of Leiden and will see – with the aid of torches – the archaeological finds that have been made there. 

Full programme and tickets

For the full programme of events, see the Night of Discoveries website and select the English programme. Tickets cost 19,50 euros; students pay 14,50 euros.

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