British Theatre Museum Puts Plays On Film

News   British Theatre Museum Puts Plays On Film

The Theatre Museum, which has come in for a certain amount of criticism for its lack of chutzpah when it comes to presenting its collections to the public, seems to have taken on a new lease of life.

This is partly due to the fact that entrance charges have been abolished, thus making it affordable to visit, but it is also part of a fresh approach to the whole collection.

Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, just south of the Royal Opera House and next to the piazza, the Theatre Museum is, for historical reasons, part of the Victoria and Albert Museum — when it started it was just a collection of theatrical memorabilia and the V & A was the only museum that would take it in.

The Museum has a lively and effective new Director of Development, Lucy Anderson Jones, who has strong personal connections with the theatre industry — one of her plays was staged at the Royal Court in the 1980's, and she chairs Moving Theatre Company — in addition to her role at the Museum.

Development is an essential part of taking the Museum into the 21st century, as without the funds nothing can be achieved.

Targets that have been set include pressing on with improvements to presentation of exhibits, access to the study room (a rich treasure trove of information and archives for theatre historians but hard to get into), and, in particular, constantly updating and improving the archive (video) footage of the best of current live theatrical performances.

Approximately 100 such productions have now been recorded, and will provide a hugely valuable record of today's greatest actors, directors and designers' work for future generations.

—By Paul Webb Theatrenow