The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1064 Thursday, 30 November 2006
From: Stuart Hampton-Reeves <
Date: Thursday, 30 Nov 2006 00:45:01 +0000
Subject: Guardians of the Theatre Museum
With apologies for cross-posting, I copy below an email from Ian Herbert
of the Society for Theatre Research, which is campaigning to save the
Theatre Museum in Covent Garden. There is more information about the
closure and the campaign at www.theatremuseumguardians.org.uk. I am sure
that this will be of interest to many SHAKSPERians.
(from Ian Herbert)
Our website is now up and running at www.theatremuseumguardians.org.uk
-please visit. Then tell your students, your friends, your relatives,
your flower arranging group - anybody - to visit too. See below for
details, but there's even more on the site. The Guardians are officially
supported by SCUDD - now we need that confirmed by your participation.
Society for Theatre Research
The Guardians of the Theatre Museum need your help.
Who are they?
Well, this is what we said in today's 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.
Principal Lecturer in English and Drama
University of Central Lancashire
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