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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: December ::
Guardians of the Theatre Museum
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1071  Saturday, 2 December 2006

From:         Arthur Lindley <
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Date:         Friday, 1 Dec 2006 09:21:08 +0000
Subject: 17.1064 Guardians of the Theatre Museum
Comment:     Re: SHK 17.1064 Guardians of the Theatre Museum

I have used the Video Archive of Performance at the Theatre Museum. It 
is an invaluable resource for anyone studying British theatre.  I hope 
that as many list members as possible will sign on to this campaign.
 
Arthur Lindley

The Guardians of the Theatre Museum Press Release:

Leading lights of the theatre world have sent an uncompromising message 
to Government and museum authorities: The Theatre Museum must not be 
destroyed. Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Simon Callow, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Peter 
Hall, Sir David Hare, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Eddie Kulukundis, Sir 
Cameron Mackintosh, Lord  Rix and Sir Donald Sinden and many others, 
with the support of major representative theatre organisations, have 
formed the Guardians of the Theatre Museum.  Their aim is to prevent the 
museum's Covent Garden site being closed and the Collection being 
absorbed by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

What do they want?

* Short Term: to ask the Victoria and Albert Museum to withdraw its 
notice of closure on the Theatre Museum's Russell Street site, in order 
that alternative proposals for its future may be coolly examined.

* Medium Term: To look for better ways of managing the Theatre Museum 
and supporting its funding.

* Long Term: To investigate broader possibilities for properly housing 
what the V&A describe as 'the largest collections in the world for the 
UK's performing arts'.

The Russell Street site is due to close to the public on 7 January 2007, 
which leaves very little time to put pressure on the V&A to rescind 
their decision. If it does close, the public will not have access to its 
exhibits for at least two and probably five years.  Further, the huge 
potential of the site as a cultural focus in Olympic Year 2012 will have 
been thrown away.

The Guardians plan to enroll as many members of the theatre professions 
and the theatregoing public as possible, as quickly as possible.  
Membership is of course free - all that is needed is enough voices.

The aim is to have 100,000 Guardians by Christmas

Said a Guardians spokesperson, 'Our supporting organisations already 
account for tens of thousands of people. If we can mobilise the 
theatregoing public, this target can be reached very easily. The V & A, 
and their masters the DCMS, have suggested that no one cares about the 
Theatre Museum. We care about it passionately, and we can prove that we 
are not alone.' Sir Derek Jacobi added, 'I deplore the closure of the 
Russell Street premises as an act of cultural vandalism.'

Act Now: join us at www.theatremuseumguardians.org.uk -  and tell everyone!

The Guardians are convened by the Save London's Theatres Campaign and 
the Society for Theatre Research.  They are supported by The Actors' 
Centre, The Association of British Theatre Technicians, The Association 
of Lighting Designers, The Association of Personal Managers, BECTU, The  
British Music Hall Society, The British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild, 
The Critics' Circle, Equity, The  International Association of Theatre 
Critics, The International Federation for Theatre Research, The 
International Society of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts, 
The Irving Society, The Mander and Mitchenson Theatre Collection, The 
Musicians' Union, The National Campaign for the Arts,  The Noel Coward 
Foundation, The  Noel Coward Society, The Puppet Centre Trust, St Paul's 
Covent Garden (The Actors' Church), The Society of British Theatre 
Designers, The Stage Management Association, The Standing Committee of 
University Drama Departments and The Theatres Trust.

_______________________________________________________________
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Hardy M. Cook, 
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