The Stage launches campaign to save Theatre Museum

Kevin Spacey, Michael Grandage and Sir Peter Hall are among leading figures from the theatre world supporting The Stage’s campaign to save the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden.

Britain’s only national museum for the performing arts is under threat. The Victoria and Albert Museum, which owns and runs the institution, is considering closing the site and moving the building’s contents and activities to South Kensington, where it would become incorporated into the main V&A collection. This would leave the UK without a dedicated theatre museum.

Hall commented: “The Stage’s support in campaigning for the Theatre Museum is an important and admirable initiative and all of us in the profession are grateful to the paper. The disgraceful proposal that the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden should be closed, and most of its priceless collections of theatrical history be shut away, must be prevented.

“What the Theatre Museum needs is adequate funding to improve its Covent Garden home. If the trustees of the V&A are truly not interested in this key part of our heritage, then the least that they should do is fight to ensure that the Theatre Museum is properly supported to stand alone, not be considering its closure without either public consultation or government review.”

Also behind the campaign, which was launched at the central London site of the museum this week, are Julian Glover, Sir Donald Sinden, Isla Blair, Sheila Hancock, Richard Jordan, Vanessa and Corin Redgrave, the Royal Court, the Royal Opera House, Equity, the National Campaign for the Arts, the Association of British Theatre Technicians and Save London’s Theatres Campaign.

Grandage added: “It seems wrong that the Theatre Museum, which presents so much of the heritage of the British stage, is threatened with closure. It’s right and proper that the theatre has a collection of this nature available to the public and that it is allowed to grow and develop in Covent Garden, which, after all, is the heart of London’s Theatreland.”

To make your views known, email newsdesk@thestage.co.uk For more see this week’s issue of The Stage.

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