Theatre exhibition takes up residency in Newcastle's Theatre Royal

A THEATRE history exhibition featuring a model of medieval Tyneside is going on display in the North.

A THEATRE history exhibition featuring a model of medieval Tyneside is going on display in the North. The Story of the Theatre is a permanent exhibition taking up residency in Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.

The display will occupy the gallery foyer of the Grade I listed Victorian-building that was restored in 2011 at a cost of £5.1m.

Designed by David Hudson, an interior and exhibitions specialist, the exhibition includes costumes from the Victoria and Albert Museum Theatre and Performance Collection.

The costumes, seen for the first time outside of London, will be complemented by the Theatre Royal’s collection of memorabilia alongside an array of other artefacts.

A spokesperson for the theatre said: “The Story of Theatre will provide a new learning resource adding richness to the existing tour experience, encouraging greater thought about the world of theatre and adding a meaningful participatory element to the visit. The exhibition is not only open for tours but will be accessible to the general public who will be welcomed free of charge throughout the day and evening to view the incredible artefacts on display.”

The exhibition illustrates the story of the theatre from its origins in Ancient Greece to the present day.

Highlights include a Dame Alicia Markova tutu and headdress from the 1930s, Royal Shakespeare Company costumes and a scale wooden model of Newcastle quayside when the site was used for medieval plays.

The model is complete with figures and stages along the banks of the river Tyne.

The spokeswoman said: “The gallery will become a focal point for theatre tours, providing a stimulating historic and cultural context for information about the present day theatre.

“Theatre tours are overseen by members of the Theatre Royal Learning Team and delivery is greatly assisted by a large team of volunteers who are very knowledgeable about the history and current workings of the theatre.”

Funded largely by the Heritage Lottery Fund the project is a result of a partnership between the Theatre Royal Newcastle, the Victorian and Albert Museum, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, the James Knott Trust and Vindolanda Roman Museum.

The exhibition opens on Wednesday, June 29, at 9am and is free to view during normal opening hours.

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