April sees the return of the V & A Annual Performance Festival...
The V&A’s annual Performance Festival celebrates theatre and performance in all their forms in a series of events in and around various galleries and spaces at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 16th to 24th April. Highlights include special study days, pop up performances, and a series of free film screenings of great theatrical productions from the National Video Archive of Performance. With a wide range of themed tours, workshops, talks and performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s just a few of the things on offer, for more information on any event and to book, please visit the V & A Website.
Malvolio’s Misorder (13th – 27th April) - Malvolio has been practising speeches all day for his tour of the Lady Olivia's private collections. However, as his guests arrive, things very quickly start to go wrong… Outside, a storm is raging. Inside, tempers are being lost and accusations thrown about.
Join characters from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for this fun, theatrical tour, which includes famous items from the V&A collections such as the Great Bed of Ware (mentioned in Twelfth Night) and the 17th Century interior from the ‘Old Palace’ at Bromley-by-Bow.Written and directed by Dominic Gerrard. Cast: Alasdair Craig (National Theatre/Propeller), Lotte Allan (Dumbshow), Nick Haverson (RSC/Improbable).
Songs from the Musicals (16th April) - Join students from world-renowned drama school Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts as they pop up around the V&A, performing a selection of musical theatre songs in celebration of the display Curtain Up: 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York.
An evening with Jane Austen (22nd April) - a magical evening in the company of Jane Austen's most memorable characters, from the comic absurdity of the Dashwoods to the heartfelt passion of Wentworth and Anne, not to mention the charming duplicity of the notorious Mr Wickham! Set in the beautiful surroundings of the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room, the evening will consist of duologues performed by actors Caroline Langrishe (Lovejoy, BBC) and Adrian Lukis (Pride and Prejudice, BBC), alongside regency-era musical entertainment from Classical Soprano Rosie Lomas and harpist Valeria Kurbatova. Featuring extracts from Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion.
Queen Lear (24th April) What if King Lear were a woman? In 2014, a bold new production placed a mother at the heart of Shakespeare's tragedy, vividly examining Lear's struggle with power, parenthood and growing old. As Queen Lear returns to London's Tristan Bates Theatre this autumn, there will be a performance of excerpts from the play followed by a lively discussion, as award-winning director Phil Willmott joins regular collaborator Ursula Mohan, and members of the cast for a unique insight into this critically acclaimed production.
Hand in Glove (24th April) Join Lea Anderson, independent choreographer, film-maker and artistic director, and Jane Prichard, V&A Curator of Dance, for a talk about Anderson's dance practice and her current work 'Hand in Glove', which is on display in Raphael, Room 48a.
Title: An Evening with Jane Austen. Rosie Lomas Credit line: (c) Ian Dingle
Title: Hand in Glove Credit line: (c) Camilla Greenwell
Title: The Great Bed of Ware, about 1590 Credit line: (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Title: Queen Lear. Ursula Mohan Credit line: (c) Scott Rylander
Title: Songs from the Musicals Credit line: (c) Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts