10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays
Private View - Theatre and Performance Galleries
David Redhead(V& A)
Was there anything that stood out for you?
There were all sorts of things that stood out. I was fascinated to see costumes and I love that they have a little area where you can go and try costumes on. I think that's brilliant idea.
Did you try anything on tonight?
I didn't try anything on. But I was standing next to Kevin Spacey who almost got into a Tweedle Dum outfit.
KATE DORNEY, V& A Curator
DR Tell us a little bit about what you had in mind.
Well we wanted something that would do the whole process from inspiration through to performance and also something that was dynamic and kind of paid its dues to the people who do the work but also captured that excitement of being a member of the audience and being a fan.
The show business game is my absolute favourite, I think it encapsulates the whole process of the gallery. But the fact that it's so of its time that it says things like ' Father forbids theatrical career, go back to the village choir' It's the show biz equivalent of Snakes and Ladders.
Sir Peter Hall
DR What are the highlights for you?
Well I suppose it's the way ones memory is jogged, suddenly seeing one of the Eqqus horses from Peter Shaffer's play, the one we did at the Old Vic. And that was a happy kind of school boy memory suddenly and then seeing Olivier's costume from Oedipus which was 1945 I think, which I saw as a school boy.
I think my card would be pretty good about what I've seen and I can only recommend to the public to come and see because it's so varied, so rich, so funny a lot of it.
Have you spotted some highlights?
Well I'm half way round… You know what when you walk in and see that rhinocerous… she's just gorgeous isn't she? And you know you can get in there and work her ears? Which I'm actually planning to do, when everyones gone obviously.
I'm incredibly impressed and I think it's fantastic the things that were worn by actors or designed by incredible designers or sets..that you've got scenic designs back there with models. It's so important that this stuff be preserved and I can't think of a better place than the V& A.
This stuff is precious. We've got a first folio right there and apparently in the margins, it might be King Lear or maybe it's the Scottish play but there's obviously somebody had it on there knee writing during a performance.
The man himself possibly?
So any other highlights for you?
There's an incredible portrait of Richard Burton as Henry V at the Old Vic in the 1950s, a very regal painting and just harkens back to a certain style.
Have you spotted anything here tonight that has taken your fancy?
I'm not one for theatricals… anymore (laughs) I did enough of that.
Over there is George Fornby's ukelele…
I met him, he came to my father's mess during the war.
I just told my wife that I'd met him and I remember him well.
Was he funny?
Well he was very lively and entertaining and I mean I was very young but I remember the visit.
I've just discovered that there's a poster of a production my father was in about 25 years ago playing Falstaff in Henry IV Part 1& 2, so he'll be very pleased. It's obviously a brilliant collection (laughs)
It's over there.
In the poster collection.
DR So are you in…
Well I came to the opening of a theatrical exhibition in a Victorian museum so I thought I ought to wear a frock coat and a false moustache, it just seemed like the right thing to do.
It doesn't look false.
Ahh well there you are.
What for you makes performing in the theatre special?
The great thing about theatre from the moment that it started, from the time stories were first told around the first campfire, is that the act of telling the story brings everyone in the room together. And that's what a great theatre experience should do. When theatre doesn't work it can be very boring, but when it does work it's the best thing in the world.
Do you think you can get a good insight into the kind of magic of performance and the theatre in this exhibition?
Yes I think you definitely get a good insight into things that you wouldn't know as an audience member. There's a brilliant wall they've put up where they have theatre slang and they have things like what 'business' means when an actor says 'business' and it really made me giggle that they defined what stage left meant but not stage right, which I thought was curious, as if there's no such thing as stage right.
You've lost me already..Is stage right, right or left?
Stage left would be right if you're looking at it.
And what is 'the business'?
'Business' is… it really made me laugh that they put that up… business is something you say like, like if you're in rehearsal.. it's a daft expression… If you're in rehearsal and you sort of go 'This is a bit of an eggy bit. I'm half way through a speech and I don't really know what to do with my hands, can you give me a bit of business with a tea cup?'