Touring Theatre & Performance Exhibitions
The V&A Department of Theatre & Performance holds the National collection of material relating to live performance in the UK, from Shakespeare to the present day, covering drama, opera, dance, musicals, pantomime, circus, rock and pop and more.
We have a diverse and ever-evolving programme of touring exhibitions organised by V&A curators. Exhibitions are organised in a flexible format and are adaptable for many spaces. Since 2008, Theatre and Performance touring exhibitions have attracted over one million visitors in galleries, museums, and performance venues throughout the UK and overseas.
Exhibition fees range from £500 to £5000, based on an average display duration of 8 to 12 weeks. For information about any of our touring exhibitions contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this address is only for information about Theatre & Performance touring exhibitions. For information about Theatre & Performance research and collections, please visit the Theatre and Performance Archives.
Along with their display in the V&A Theatre & Performance Galleries, touring exhibitions visit many UK and international venues such as the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh; The Lowry Centre, Manchester; the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon; Theatre de la Ville, Paris and the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington.
The following exhibitions are currently available to tour:
Shooting Shakespeare: 150 Years of Stage Photography
Organised by the V&A in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe, this exhibition combines production photographs from the Globe with images from the V&A’s Theatre and Performance collections. In 2012, Shakespeare’s Globe presented Globe to Globe– a festival of 37 Shakespeare plays performed by companies from 37 countries, in their native languages. Photographers Simon Annand, Marc Brenner, John Haynes, Simon Kane and Ellie Kurttz were commissioned to document the plays, resulting in a series of striking photographs. Shooting Shakespeare unites the Globe to Globe images with a range of photographs spanning 150 years from the V&A’s stage photography collection.
Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright
In celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in 1564 this display examines the enduring influence and popularity of the world’s most famous playwright. The display draws together objects from the V&A collections including Shakespeare’s First Folio, costumes, set models and designs, as well as interviews with contemporary practitioners, films and archival images in a 25 screen audio visual installation. The display examines how Shakespeare’s plays have travelled across centuries and continents to be used as a springboard for theatrical re-imaginings and interpretation.
Five TruthsA group of contemporary theatre makers created this video installation. By using Ophelia’s famous mad scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, five short films explore the differing approaches of five of the most influential European theatre practitioners of the 20th century. Ten screens simultaneously play films of Ophelia interpreted dramatically through the lenses of Constantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook. The films were created by director Katie Mitchell, video designer Leo Warner, set designer Vicki Mortimer, lighting designer Paule Constable and sound designer Gareth Fry; they star Michelle Terry as Ophelia.
Music Hall: Sickert and the Three Graces
Music Hall: Sickert and the Three Graces explores the rise and fall of ‘Music Hall’; a lost form of Victorian popular entertainment created by and for the people. Walter Sickert’s paintings of the Music Hall and its patrons are examined as a catalyst for unveiling a lost genre and its turbulent social milieu. This multi-sensory display combines Sickert’s paintings and sketches, comic caricatures, and illustrated Victorian song sheets alongside theatrical performance, music and projection in the form of a specially commissioned theatre piece.
The House of Annie LennoxThis immersive installation was created in collaboration with Annie Lennox and explores the image and creative vision of the artist. A selection of costumes and accessories, together with photographs, personal treasures and awards, ephemera from the political campaigns she has championed, music videos, and a specially commissioned film are included.
My Generation: The Glory Years of British Rock, Photographs from Top Of The Pops 1964-1973, by Harry Goodwin
Top Of The Pops was launched by the BBC on New Year's Day 1964. The Rolling Stones were the opening band; the photographer was Harry Goodwin. My Generation brings together Goodwin's most striking and memorable photographs from the show, alongside AV displays, a soundtrack of TOTP hits and material from the BBC archive. Popular with all ages, the exhibition attracted nearly 100,000 visitors at the V&A alone. From a shocked Bob Dylan blinded by Harry's flash, to a dramatic shot of Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar with his teeth, My Generation captures the energy of the swinging '60s and '70s.
A Flash of Light: The Dance Photography of Chris Nash
Showcasing Chris Nash's interest in movement and light, this exhibition features three decades of the dance photographer's most dazzling work. A Flash of Light explores the way Nash collaborates with dancers and choreographers to create his images. In featuring the foremost figures in contemporary dance—including household names such as Rambert Dance Company and Javier de Frutos—this vibrant exhibition has wide appeal.
The Half: Photographs of Actors by Simon Annand
Before the curtain rises, 'the Half' is an actor's 30 minute countdown to walking on stage and facing an audience. Simon Annand's photographs, spanning 25 years, capture this final half-hour of excitement and intensity before curtain-up. Visitors are invited to peep into the secret world of the dressing room to discover actors engaging in personal reflections and private rituals as they negotiate the transition into character. Annand's exploration of this usually off-limits journey makes for compelling viewing, offering visitors a spellbinding glimpse into the heart of the acting process.
Halfway to Paradise: The Birth of British Rock, Photographs by Harry Hammond
For almost two decades, Harry Hammond was Britain's leading showbiz photographer. Starting in the late 1940s, he captured the definitive images of virtually every successful British musician and many visiting American artists. From Tommy Steele to the Beatles, Shirley Bassey to Dusty Springfield, Hammond captured the emergence of the British rock 'n' rollers. This exhibition, curated from the V&A collection, is popular with families, young and older audiences alike. With 100 photographs, a soundtrack and an interactive quiz exploring the music, musicians and fashion of the time, Halfway to Paradise transports visitors back to the birth of British Rock.
A Collection of Stars: The Guy Little Archive of Cartes de Visites
Small enough to fit in your pocket, the cartes-de-visites displayed in A Collection of Stars grant visitors a privileged glimpse into the intriguing world of Victorian theatre. Surprisingly experimental in scope, this charming selection of photographs will delight audiences with its depiction of the era’s fashions and famous beauties. Focusing on six notable stage stars (including Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt) the exhibition demonstrates how these delicate, sepia-tinted miniatures added a touch of glamour to Victorians’ daily lives.