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, dance, circus and rock and pop.

We have a diverse and ever-evolving programme of popular touring exhibitions, developed by V&A curators from the collections. These are available for display in galleries, museums and performance venues throughout the UK and overseas. Since 2008, the Department's touring exhibitions have attracted over 500,000 visitors.

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, please contact taptouringenquiries@vam.ac.uk. Please note that this address is only for information about Theatre & Performance touring exhibitions. For information about Theatre & Performance research and collections, please see http://www.vam.ac.uk/resources/archives/theatre/

As well as being shown in the V&A's dedicated Theatre & Performance Galleries at South Kensington, our touring exhibitions have visited numerous venues, including: Arles Photography Festival; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Fashion Museum Bath; Glasgow Concert Halls; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum; The Lowry Centre, Manchester; Manchester Royal Exchange; National Theatre, London; Northern Stage, Newcastle; O2 Centre, London; The Playhouse, London; Pocklington Arts Centre, York; Portsmouth City Museum; Scarborough Art Gallery; Shipley Art Gallery, Newcastle; Solihull Arts Complex; Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff; Worcester Art Gallery; and the Gallery of Jan Fragner, Prague (as part of the Prague Quadrennial 2011).


Five Truths

Michelle Terry and Paul Clark, photograph by Gareth Fry

Michelle Terry and Paul Clark, photograph by Gareth Fry

What are the differences between five of the most influential European theatre practitioners of the 20th century? How would these five directors work with the actress playing Ophelia in the famous mad scene in Shakespeare's Hamlet? What would they ask the actress to do and how would they ask the actress to behave?

This video installation created by a group of contemporary theatre makers, consists of five short films suggesting possible variations in what you might see.

Ten screens of varying sizes simultaneously play films of Ophelia interpreted dramatically through the lens of Constantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook.

Created by director Katie Mitchell, video designer Leo Warner, set designer Vicki Mortimer, lighting designer Paule Constable and sound designer Gareth Fry, starring Michelle Terry as Ophelia.


The House of Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox's success has spanned four decades and she is internationally renowned both for her music and her personal style. This immersive installation, created in collaboration with Lennox herself, will explore the image and creative vision of the artist. There will be a selection of costumes and accessories worn by Lennox, together with photographs, personal treasures and awards, ephemera from the political campaigns she championed, music videos, and a specially commissioned video of Annie in conversation.


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 in 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 fascinating material from the BBC archive. Popular with all ages, the exhibition attracted around 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 style, mood and energy of the swinging '60s and '70s.


Space and Light: Edward Gordon Craig

Design for Hamlet by Edward Gordon Craig, 1913. Reproduced with kind permission of the Edward Gordon Craig Estate

Design for Hamlet by Edward Gordon Craig, 1913. Reproduced with kind permission of the Edward Gordon Craig Estate

'He was the origin of it all…the true influence, which we all carry today, whether we know it or not, comes from Gordon Craig'
Peter Brook

Space and Light explores the career, life and continuing legacy of a pioneering British director, designer, print-maker and theoretician. Edward Gordon Craig was a visionary innovator, stripping away the cluttered victoriana of stage design and introducing a radical new minimalism. This beautifully designed exhibition includes a display of stunning woodcuts, woodblocks and photographs from the V&A collection. It continues to captivate visitors with an interactive stage model, and original audio and light installations from contemporary theatre practitioners.


A Flash of Light: The Dance Photography of Chris Nash

Showcasing Chris Nash's obsession with movement and light, this dazzling exhibition features three decades of the dance photographer's most exciting work. A Flash of Light explores the way in which Nash collaborates with dancers and choreographers to create his images and his intimate understanding of the dancer's form is evident in his ability to capture their creativity and dynamism. Featuring the foremost figures in contemporary dance, including household names such as Rambert Dance Company and Javier de Frutos, this vibrant exhibition has universal appeal. Nash's experimentation with colour, light and composition ensures that his photography truly bears the stamp of his imagination.


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

Cliff Richard, photography by Harry Hammond, 1960. Museum no. S.14292-2009

Cliff Richard, photography by Harry Hammond, 1960. Museum no. S.14292-2009

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, as well as 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 classic exhibition from the V&A collection is popular with families, young and older audiences alike. With a display of 100 photographs, a lively soundtrack and an interactive quiz exploring the music, musicians and fashions 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 into your pocket, the 'cartes de visites' featured in A Collection of Stars grant visitors a privileged glimpse of the intriguing world of Victorian theatre. Surprisingly experimental in scope, this charming selection will delight audiences with its depiction of the vintage fashions and reputed beauties of the era. Focusing on six notable stars of the stage including Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt, the exhibition demonstrates how these delicate, sepia-tinted miniatures added a touch of glamour to the daily lives of Victorians.


The Story of the Supremes from the Mary Wilson Collection

The Supremes were one of the most successful groups of all time. This exhibition contains over fifty outfits that chart the changing image of the group, from their dresses in the early days as The Primettes, to the glamorous Hollywood designs worn at the height of their fame.

The Wolsey Angels Appeal

We urgently need your help to raise the £5,000,000 it will cost for the V&A to acquire four Renaissance angels cast for the tomb of Cardinal Wolsey and later in the possession of Henry VIII.

Help us buy The Wolsey Angels

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Collaborators: UK Design for Performance 2003-2007

Collaborators: UK Design for Performance 2003-2007

Published to accompany the 'Collaborators' exhibition at the V&A (21 November 2007 - 18 November 2008), the catalogue of Design for Performance is…

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Event - Gallery Tour: Shakespeare Greatest Living Playwright

Wed 23 April 2014–Tue 29 April 2014

FREE TOUR: Join Victoria Broackes, Head of our Exhibitions, Theatre and Performance Department, for a tour of this immersive installation celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.

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