The original mask worn by Michael Crawford
in the Phantom of the Opera
A free exhibition Curtain Up opens tomorrow 9 February at the Victoria & Albert Museum celebrating 40 years of the Olivier Theatre Awards. Encompassing the world’s leading theatrical centres of both London’s West End and New York’s Broadway, the Awards which recognise excellence in the professional theatre take place on April 3, 2016.
Hidden away on the third floor of the museum by the Learning Centre Curtain Up includes film clips, posters, photographs, costumes, stage set models, film and much more. Interviews with stars who have won Awards can be listened to on earphones, and buttons can be pushed to explore ways lighting can be used.
One of the aims of the exhibition is to encourage young people to consider the theatre as a profession, and demonstrates the many facets that go into putting on a play. Involved in the process are, amongst others, set designers, lighting electricians, computer specialists, costumiers, and make-up artists as well as the actors, producers and directors.
The exhibition incorporates part of an already existing exhibition of posters and costumes, and demonstrates how the theatre has changed. The use of technology is demonstrated with clips from The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night time. Many of the items on display have been provided by the celebrities who wore them including the original mask worn by Michael Crawford in the Phantom of the Opera.
The display runs until 31 August when it moves to America opening at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Centre on 19th October, and running until June 2017.
Alongside the exhibition SOLT (Society of London Theatre) is running an event and education programme with activities taking place at the V&A and throughout the West End.
V&A open 10.00 – 17.45 and until 22.00 on Fridays. T. 020 7942 2000
Dame Helen Mirren’s costume for Elizabeth II
in the Audience