Home » Exhibitions » Display Review : Curtain Up at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 9th February to 31st August 2016

Display Review : Curtain Up at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 9th February to 31st August 2016


To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Olivier Awards in April 2016, The Victoria and Albert Museum present a display entitled Curtain Up which showcases material from multi-award-winning productions such as The Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line and Wolf Hall.

The display was created by acclaimed stage designer Tom Piper who invites visitors to glimpse behind the scenes explore the extraordinary story of the world’s two greatest theatrical cities, London’s West End and New York’s Broadway.


(c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

On display are objects drawn from the extensive collections of the V&A and The Library for the Performing Arts supplemented with key loans from private collections. Visitors will be able to see original costume designs from The Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line, The Producers, Chicago and the Lion King.


Other highlights include Joey from War Horse and costumes from Romeo and Juliet, worn by Rudolf Nureyev and The Audience, worn by Dame Helen Mirren.


Although visitors will be dazzled by the costumes, the display considers the behind the scenes aspect of the shows. There is plenty of material on script-writing, production, direction, design (lighting, sound, set, and costume), music and choreography.


The display also features set models, scripts, photographs and film from past productions such as Carousel, Arcadia, and Sunday In The Park With George, including footage from the V&A’s National Video Archive of Performance (NVAP) and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT), New York.


This display is organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The display will transfer to The Library for the Performing Arts in New York from 19 October 2016 – June 2017.

Curtain Up is a wonderfully entertaining display that compliments the extensive V&A collection Theatre and Performance collection that is located next to the new display and is also well worth a visit. London is one of the great theatrical cities and the wide range of material pays homage to the numerous awarding winning productions that began in the West End. One of the delights of the display is the material from behind the scenes that gives some insight into the creative process that underpins these type of productions.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Visitor Information

Free Admission

9 February – 31 August 2016

Theatre & Performance, Room 104

Daily 10.00 –17.30

Friday 10.00 –21.30

If you would like further information, visit the Victoria and Albert website here 

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