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Celebrating the last 40 years of
theatre in New York and London
Admission Free
Admission Free



London and New York are the world’s theatre capitals, home to the vibrant theatre districts of the West End and Broadway. Their famed theatres host an array of talented international practitioners, both centre stage and behind the scenes. ‘Curtain Up’ celebrates the extraordinary range of crafts, disciplines and professions that come together to create a global theatrical hit.

West End / Broadway

Theatre districts play central roles in the economy and ecology of London and New York.  The topography of the cities defines them, whilst ‘Broadway’ being a strictly defined area, the West End is far more sprawling. Both capitals thrive on a dynamic mix of new productions and firm favourites, which intertwine throughout the exhibition.

40 Years

In December 1976, the first Olivier Awards (then the Society of West End Theatre Awards) were presented. Since then relationship between London and New York has grown ever stronger. You will see that both capitals present an array of genres and audience appetite differs slightly; Broadway’s ten longest-running productions are all musicals, three of the West End’s longest production runs are plays.

Spotlight on the Awards

Both London and New York celebrate they best the theatre has to offer with glamorous and high-profile annual ceremonies. The Olivier Awards, produced by the Society of London Theatre; and the Tony Awards, co-produced by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League. 2016 see’s the 40th Anniversary of the Olivier’s and the 70th Anniversary of the Tony’s.

Red Carpet

The Red Carpet is the glamorous beginning of any award ceremony, with both the Olivier’s and the Tony’s both hosting major ones. Full of star names and fabulous outfits, visit the exhibition for your chance to capture your very own red carpet moment.

Behind the Scenes

When the curtain rises, an audience is transported to a new onstage world. It appears in an instant but represents months, and often years, of work by creative practitioners and production crews behind the scenes.  Explore the process that creative teams undertake and marvel at the collaborative components that go into creating these award winning productions.

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