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Georgian Theatre Royal Museum
Victoria Road
Richmond

DL10 4DW
Contact
Telephone: 01748 823 710
Fax: 01748 823 710

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Overview of collections

The collection dates back to the original letters of application for licences from Samuel Butler, a collection of original playbills and handbills from 1792 to the 1840s, objects and documents relating to the theatre's construction, management and operation, engravings of artists associated with the theatre including Edmund Kean, a 'thunderbox' and the oldest surviving complete set of painted scenery in Britain, consists of eight wing flats and a backdrop from George Higgins' scene painting workshop in Royston which dates from 1836. Also archives, costume and photographs and autographs of Royal visitors.

Overview of how collections are displayed

The Georgian Theatre houses a museum, the first theatre museum in the country opened in 1979 by Richard Baker and in 1996, with the help of the National Lottery, a new museum was constructed. In small galleries visitors follow each phase of the theatre's life. Exhibits date back to the original letters of application for licences from Samuel Butler and include a collection of original playbills and handbills which illustrate the changing pattern of entertainment throughout the period and the construction, management and operation during the last years of the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries. There are engravings of artists associated with the theatre and a unique collection of original playbills and handbills from 1792 to the 1840s. A 'thunderbox' hangs from the ceiling with a rope to make it work and background sound effects recreate the rowdy mirth of a Georgian night out. Productions are staged throughout the year.
Owing to the restoration of the theatre, The Museum is open until the end of November 2002, the Theatre will be closed for tours until May 2003. All productions are being held in the Zetland Centre in Richmond until the end of November 2002
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