The V&A collection of Theatre & Performance objects includes props and costumes from many iconic moments in the history of circus, dance, drama, film, opera, pantomime, popular music – and much more. Often these objects played their part in a spectacular visual and auditory experience, but now – when they're displayed in our galleries behind glass – they are normally silent.
We invited sound designer and performance-maker Julie Rose Bower to document our preparation for a new gallery display, opening later this year.
In this film, curator, Yona Lesger, lets us see (and hear) pieces being unpacked from storage, before they undergo conservation work. Here, we have Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Little Tramp’ bowler hat and a late-19th-century costume worn by Henry Irving, the actor-manager of the Lyceum Theatre.