Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York

Things to do, Exhibitions Free
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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This glam little exhibition makes the V&A's permanent 'Theatre and Performance' collection look positively drab with its flashing lights, sequins and showstoppers. It's a collection of posters, costumes, artefacts and recordings that represent the biggest shows in West End and Broadway history. It celebrates 40 years of the Olivier awards, and you won't forget it – most of the exhibit label space is taken up with listing exactly who won which gong and when.

The collection is impressive and varied, though; a note from Sir Ian McKellen to his 'Amadeus' understudy from 1980, the mask Michael Crawford wore in the original production of 'The Phantom of the Opera', a model of the magnificent set from the current West End production of 'Matilda'. Its 'immersive' elements are stretching the definition, though a primary school trip was certainly enjoying the sound board that blasts out one of the most annoying songs from 'Hairspray', and it's hard not to shuffle yourself into step in the mirrored corridor celebrating the sparkly finale of 'A Chorus Line'. If jazz hands make you shudder then this tribute to all things stagey won't convert you, but luvvies will simply love it.

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