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A Skelding Summary

For many years the Theatre Museum was a major attraction in Covent Garden and idealy situated on the corner of Russell Street and Wellington Street in the heart of Theatreland. Its closure was announced in August 2006 and it finally closed in Jaunary 2007 and was moved to new galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum's Main site in South Kensington.

Because of the historical impact of the Theatre Museum on Covent Garden we have retained our entry for the Theatre Museum which is shown below;

The Theatre Museum has a unique celebration of the performing arts and the world's largest and most important collection of material relating to the British stage. International audiences of all ages enjoy the unrivalled collections through displays, educational programmes and study facilities.

Covent Garden, the heart of theatreland & street theatre, has been home to the Theatre Museum since 1987, where it was established to provide the national record of stage performance in Britain. It gives you the background and considerable history of both the area and theatre in general.

This certainly promotes understanding and increases the enjoyment of going to the theatre and opera.

How did it begin?

A branch of the V&A, (Victoria and Albert Museum), the Theatre Museum owes its existence to the dedication and generosity of many benefactors. The founding collection was donated to the V&A in 1924 by Gabrielle Enthoven, a lifelong devotee of British theatre. Since then, the Museum has attracted many unique collections & archives documenting most forms of live entertainment, especially drama, dance, opera and musical theatre (musicals).

Even as the cinema and TV seemed to be taking over and the expensive seats the theatre has not only held its own but seems to be taking a turn for improvement. To quote Jennie Paddon loosely, 'Years ago only football enthusiasts went to see footie. Sure there were enough of them to see it go into the big time but now people, who thought it was a boring thing to do, go along - no problem. In short the market share rose.

We dream of a day when people who now never go to a play - let alone to fringe theatre - start to become involved enough to give it a try'.

The theatre Museum is a contribution to that dream. it is interesting in itself and also promotes the idea - take in a show, see some live stuff other than sports.

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This FAQ (frequently asked questions) is also a running Q&A (questions & Answers) so you can ask and we will answer or find out for you.

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By Laurence Skelding

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