Celebrating 25 years of the National Theatre Archive, this exhibition reveals some of the treasures of the collection. Theatre-makers, playwrights and researchers were invited to choose an object which inspires them from the Archive. Participants included theatre critic Michael Billington, directors Simon Godwin and Emily Lim, playwright and director Patrick Marber and actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Their responses sit alongside the objects in the exhibition.
The National Theatre Archive is a treasure trove of material, encompassing all of the creative, technical and administrative records of the National Theatre. The collection covers the movement to found the National Theatre and the period from the start of the company in 1963 right up to the present day. It is a free resource which is open to everyone.
Director Emily Lim said: “I love that anyone can come to the archive and get theirs hands on such a huge range of productions and materials for free. I am always telling everyone about it, it’s the National’s best kept secret!”
Actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith said: “All those thoughts and endeavours – boxed, ready and waiting, it’s as if even though its containers and corridors are inanimate they somehow jiggle with the histories that fill them.”
Playwright and director Patrick Marber said: “Our tradition is as old as the hills. Let’s celebrate that. And use knowledge of the past to innovate in the present.”
Related Talks and Events
Exhibition Insight and Archive Tour: Unboxing the Archive, Sat 9 February, 11.30am