Theatre & Performance

Rooms 103 – 106

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The Theatre & Performance collections are an incredible resource that document current practice and the history of all areas of performing arts in the UK, including drama, dance, opera, circus, puppetry, comedy, musical theatre, costume, set design, pantomime, popular music and much more...

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The collection was founded in the 1920's when a private collector, Gabrielle Enthoven, donated her extensive collection of theatrical designs, memorabilia, books and photographs to the Museum. Since then the collection has continued to grow to include significant objects and works of art; books, manuscripts, audio-visual recordings and ephemerality; and the archives of performing arts companies, performers, directors, stage designers and private collectors.

Collection Highlights

Costume for the Fairy in Béla Bartók’s ballet 'The Wooden Prince', designed by Philip Prowse, English National Ballet at the Coliseum, London, 1981. Museum no. S.731-1985
Detail from a painting of Queen Elizabeth at the Globe, David Scott, 1840. Museum no: S.511-1985
Art work for the Rolling Stones Hot Licks logo by Jon Pasche, 1970. Museum nos S.6121-2009
Punch puppet, Fred Tickner, about 1975. Museum no. S.554-2001. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Poster for the revue 'Eightpence a Mile' Alhambra Theatre, London 1913 Designed by G.K. Benda © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Les Paul Guitar broken by Pete Townshend, Gibson, 1960s. Museum no. S.12-1978, © V&A Images