Stage greats unite to save Theatre Museum

Judi Dench, Peter Hall, Harriet Walter and Corin, Lynn, Jemma and Vanessa Redgrave are among leading figures from the theatre world who have joined the battle to save the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, which is currently threatened with closure.

In a letter to The Times signed by 18 of Theatreland’s most famous figures, the group called for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s trustees to reject a proposal that could see the organisation’s Covent Garden site closed.

“What the museum needs is adequate funding to develop its Covent Garden site and to make even more of its outstanding collections available to visitors, school parties, researchers and professional performers such as us,” they explained.

Others who have put their names to the letter are Diana Rigg, Martin Jarvis, Patrick Malahide, Deborah Findlay, Peter Bowles, Donald Sinden, Kika Markham, Natasha Richardson, Joely Richardson, Miriam Margoyles and Alex Kingston.

The letter added: “It… seems astonishing to us that tomorrow the trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum will consider a proposal to close the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden without adequate consultation with either museum users or theatre practitioners… This museum plays a major role in increasing the enjoyment, understanding and study of the history, craft and practice of the performing arts in Britain.

“As individuals who strive to make a living in the performing arts we are horrified that this important and world-renowned museum could be closed and its collection broken up. We fear this means that most of the exhibits would no longer be available to the public.”

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