Curtain Up reveals exclusive access

Reporter: Charlotte Marshall, first published Fri 15 Jan 2016 12:30
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Legendary West End productions including A Chorus Line, The Phantom Of The Opera and Matilda The Musical will all contribute to the incredible theatrical Curtain Up experience at the V&A this February.

Curtain Up will celebrate 40 years of theatre in both London and its cultural soulmate New York on a scale never seen before, with costumes, props, designs, models and much more on display to explore the extraordinary craft that goes into creating Olivier and Tony Award-winning productions.

Curated by the esteemed V&A and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at the Lincoln Center, in partnership with the Society of London Theatre, the organisation behind this website, Curtain Up will be open to the public at the V&A from 9 February to 31 August before heading across the pond for its New York residency this autumn.

As previously announced, the free and immersive experience will take visitors on a journey through the process of creating a show and give them access to sensational photography, archived film clips from performances and show paraphernalia, some of which have never been seen on display before.

Designed by RFK Architects and Tom Piper, the acclaimed designer and theatre maker renowned for his Tower of London poppies installation, Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red, some of the highlights visitors will be able to see up close include original costume designs from The Phantom Of The Opera, a selection of the iconic golden top hats from A Chorus Line, a dress Dame Helen Mirren wore in The Audience and, for the first time ever, set models for New York productions of Carousel and Sunday In The Park With George.

Curtain Up will also explore the unique relationship between the West End and Broadway, and many of the exhibits on display will come from shows that have found huge success in both cities, including Matilda The Musical, which will be showcasing the elaborate model of its Olivier Award-winning set, and Christopher Oram’s original costume designs for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

A must-see for any theatre fan or those fascinated by the process of creating shows, Curtain Up will demonstrate how every company member helps to bring a production to life, with everything from script writing, production and direction to music, choreography and the evolution of technology covered.

Running as part of a year-long celebration to mark the 40th year of the Olivier Awards, Curtain Up will also put a spotlight on both the Olivier and Tony Awards, revealing how they have developed since their inception.

For more information, visit the V&A website.