When the Theatre Museum’s Covent Garden home closes on 7 January 2007 (See News, 25 Sep 2006), the archive of valuable historic theatre memorabilia including props and costumes could well be moving to the seaside.
It has been announced that Blackpool Council and the V&A are working together on a feasibility study for a new base for the archives in Blackpool, which is famous for its end of pier entertainment. V&A director Mark Jones said in a press release: “The V&A is committed to showing the theatrical collections to as wide an audience as possible. Blackpool has a strong theatrical and entertainment tradition, and the city attracts millions of visitors a year. A new museum in Blackpool could provide a wonderful platform to tell the story of British theatre.” Cllr David Owen, culture and leisure spokesperson for Blackpool Council, said: “Blackpool has a proud entertainment heritage, arguably unparalleled anywhere in the country except London, and the north west is rich in superb theatres including the Exchange in Manchester and the Everyman in Liverpool. As home to the National Theatre of Variety, we feel we are ideally placed to host a new National Theatre Museum.” Last week, a petition group - Guardians of the Theatre Museum – was launched in a bid to save the institution (See The Goss, 29 Nov 2006).