A history of the modern stage in multimedia glory
Saturday 15 December 2012
Why not give Twitter a rest and catch up on some theatre? The V&A has just launched a new app for iPads which examines the history of theatre since 1945. Narrated by Simon Callow, Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays (1945-2010) costs £7.99.
Each play is accompanied by a short essay, first night reviews, actor and director interviews, and theatre stills. The V&A has just acquired more than 100,000 stills from around 30,000 British theatre productions taken by a pioneer of modern theatre photography Douglas H. Jeffery to showcase digitally on the app. He photographed landmark productions of the 20th century including Howard Brenton's The Romans in Britain at the National Theatre in 1980, which caused outcry from Mary Whitehouse for its scenes of homosexual rape.
His photographs of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1973 at the Royal Court record the original cast including its writer Richard O'Brien playing Riff Raff (above). Other photo highlights are Harold Pinter's first production of The Homecoming at the Aldwych Theatre in 1965.
Kate Dorney, curator of modern and contemporary theatre at the V&A, says: “His archive is so comprehensive it was the last piece in the jigsaw for us in terms of post-War theatre photography.”
'Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays (1945-2010)' by Kate Dorney & Frances Gray is available to download for £7.99 from the iTunes store
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Refugee crisis: Sweden the only European country with a majority favourable towards non-EU immigration
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 4 Malnourished two-year-old found being breastfed by dog in Chile
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
No Escape, film review: Thriller generates plenty of excitement but soon collapses
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Spanish town saved by botched restoration of century-old Christian 'Ecce Homo' fresco of Jesus
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees