Entertainment & Arts

V&A exhibition to mark 40 years of theatre

Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man and Dame Helen Mirren in The Audience Image copyright AP
Image caption Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man and Dame Helen Mirren in The Audience

A new exhibition celebrating 40 years of theatre in London and New York is to open next year.

Curtain Up! will open at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in February 2016 - and go to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Autumn 2016.

Dame Helen Mirren said it would honour the "shared artistic heritage" which binds the two cities.

The show also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Olivier Awards.

Curtain Up! will be designed by Tom Piper, who was behind last year's ceramic poppy art installation at the Tower of London which marked the centenary of World War One.

The Society of London Theatre, which helped organise the show, said it would highlight how the multi-million pound theatre sector had "developed and flourished" in London and New York.

Recent British productions that have transferred to New York include The Audience, with Dame Helen Mirren as The Queen, as well Constellations, Skylight and Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies.

'Alchemy of creative talent'

Dame Helen said: "Having been fortunate to work on both West End and Broadway stages, I am delighted that the exhibition Curtain Up!, marking 40 years since the Olivier Awards were inaugurated, honours the shared artistic heritage which binds London and New York and showcases the alchemy of creative talent necessary to bring great productions to the stage on both sides of the Atlantic."

Broadway productions currently in the West End include The Book Of Mormon, Once, The Scottsboro Boys and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

It was recently announced that Bradley Cooper will be appearing on the London stage in the Broadway production of The Elephant Man.

The exhibition was announced in New York on Friday by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is there as part of a visit to strengthen cultural and business links with the US.

"Theatre is an essential part of the fantastic mix of culture and creativity that make London and New York such exciting and dynamic places to live, work and visit," he said.

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