May 6, 2012

Postcards from The Theatre Museum (UK)

In 2005 I visited London and made sure to go see the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden.  It was a satellite of the Victoria and Albert Museum and located in the heart of the West End.  At that time, they had a special exhibit on the famous acting family, The Redgraves. In 2007, due to lack of funding, the museum closed so I was thankful that at least I got to see it before the closure. However in 2009 the Victoria and Albert Museum in the South Kensington area re-opened the collection to the public in one of their wings.   I recently visited the V & A Theatre and Performance Galleries and found that the collection now resides in a much better home even though it isn't in the West End anymore.  Not only is it well featured and curated but they have a more extensive gallery which features the Art of Live Performance be it theatre, ballet, opera or concerts.  I'd like to share my photos from 2005 and from my recent visit this April 2012.

Theatre Museum in Covent Garden circa 2005:
Entrance of the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden

Chair used and designed by Sir Henry Irving in Becket

Natasha Richardson's dress when she was Lady from the Sea in 2003
Here's an interview of her talking about The Classics

The following are photos taken this April 2012 at the Theatre and Performance Galleries of the V & A Museum
Punch and Judy Puppets

Skull props for Hamlet

Costume from The Producers

model of the stalls and circles of a theatre

A Collection of Posters from West End Shows

Portrait of Richard Burton in Henry VIII

Shakespeare's First Folio

Maggie Smith's costume when she played Lady Bracknell
in The Importance of Being Earnest

Kylie Minogue's dressing room

Costumes for Scar and Sarabi in
The Lion King

Set model for A Long Day's Journey into the Night, 1972

various headrests from different shows

set model for the ballet Hamlet in 1942

set model for Sweeney Todd - it's even interactive (yes I played around with it!)
and shows how lighting can change the mood of the scenes

A Strap Trap

Set model of Theatre Royal Drury Lane

same model from above but showing the sides to emphasize the flies


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