Skip to main content

Make: Believe as movie magic comes to the museum

Monday, 7 October 2019

Launches 25 October – New Royal Armouries display and events programme exploring arms and armour in popular culture

This October the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds is set to launch an exciting new display and supporting events programme exploring the role of arms and armour in popular culture.

‘Make: Believe’ will explore and extend the impact of the national collection of arms and armour by showcasing the museum’s expansive collection of fantastic items made famous by popular culture, including arms and armour from film, television, stage and more.

Key objects in the exhibition, which is supported by National Lottery Heritage funding, include two original Blasters from the ‘Star Wars’ movie franchise, an ‘Aliens’ Pulse Rifle, ‘Lord of the Rings’ swords, Monty Python helmets, and Lancelot’s hero armour from ‘Excalibur’, amongst many others.

The permanent exhibition will launch on the 25 October and will be accompanied by a show stopping series of events on the theme of popular culture. The events will kick-off during October half term (26 October – 3 November) with Movie Monsters, followed by events exploring Action Heroes (30 November & 1 December), Space Heroes (28 & 29 December), Fantasy Heroes (25 & 26 January) and Superheroes (15 – 23 February).

As well as this, the museum will be taking part in the nationwide Museums at Night festival on the 31 October, welcoming ‘Woman of weapons’ Natalia Lee, stunt person and armourer on ‘Game of Thrones’ and a host of blockbuster projects. Visitors are welcomed to a special evening talk from Natalia where she will give a behind-the-scenes look at the role of a film armourer and her work on the biggest TV phenomenon in history. There will also be an action-packed demonstration of a film combat, including blood, guts and all.

Commenting on the exhibition, Laura Bell, Director of Collections, said: “We are delighted to be launching our new ‘Make: Believe’ exhibition and events series following several years of acquiring remarkable objects from popular culture as part of this National Lottery Heritage funded project. For many, knowledge of arms and armour begins in popular culture, and whether we see it in film or television, some of the most iconic scenes on the silver screen have revolved around these objects. We hope the public are as excited as we are to see these fantastic pieces of cinematic, television and stage history on display in Leeds.”

Paul Barrett, Head of Marketing and Communications, added: “Alongside the new exhibition we are excited to launch our ‘Make: Believe’ season of events, exploring some of the most famous tropes from popular culture. The events will bring to life the objects in the exhibition, showcasing the magic of TV and cinema, including stunt work, tricks of the trade and more. It’s also great to be able to welcome Natalia Lee to the museum as part of the Museums at Night festival. Natalia has designed some of the most iconic weapons in ‘Game of Thrones’, as well as being an amazing stunt person; her talk is a must see for all popular culture fans!”

For tickets to an evening with Natalia Lee this Museums at Night, visit: Natalia Lee Woman of Weapons Tickets


For event updates follow:

Notes to editors

Further enquiries to:

Paul Barrett
Head of Marketing & Communications
Telephone: 0113 220 1972

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.