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

Queen Elizabeth Viewing the Performance of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' at the Globe Theatre, oil painting, by David Scott, 1840, Britain
Rolling Stones Hot Licks logo, artwork, designed by Jon Pasche, 1970, London, England
Puppet, made by Fred Tickner, about 1975, UK
Eightpence a Mile: The New Stop Press Review, poster, designed by G.K. Benda, printed by David Allen & Sons, about 1913, London, England
Les Paul guitar, made by Gibson, 1960s, US
theatre costume
Theatre costume, designed by Philip Prowse, made by Bonn & Mackenzie, 1981, London, England