London Gets A New Museum

The Arts


It’s one of the great shames of London that it no longer has a Theatre Museum. The Covent Garden venue was closed down and its collections went to the V&A. Now, though, the Museum of Comedy (not to be confused with the Cartoon Museum) has opened its doors in Bloomsbury, and has a website here. ¬†Apart from the usual paraphernalia of music halls like photos and playbills, it has props used by many famous comedians.

Included in the collection are artefacts for Fawlty Towers, The Two Ronnies, Lily Savage, Max Miller, Tommy Cooper, Steptoe and Son and many others. The museum also has stand-up shows and is currently hosting the Edinburgh previews. It’s open from Tuesday to Friday and costs just a fiver. Turn up at the Undercroft, St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way – Just like that!

There’s also a terrific book out at the moment called ‘Funny Way To Be A Hero’ by John Fisher, which looks at the lives of Britain’s most famous comedians, many of whom have fallen from popularity because, let’s face it, they were annoying and not very funny, like Frank Randle and Arthur Askey. It’s a comprehensive guide, marred only by a tone of mean-spiritedness about modern comics, which is a shame because there are many fine popular comedians around now from Armstrong & Miller to Miranda Hart and Al Murray.

5 comments on “London Gets A New Museum”

  1. Roger says:

    An Old Jokes’ Home!

  2. snowy says:

    Ba dum tish!

  3. Fiona says:

    I may have to check that out. I don’t know if people know about the London Film Museum at all that’s in Covent Garden – I wonder if that took over the Theatre Museum? I only found out about it because I had to organise a work’s outing and discovered they had a Bond in Motion event going on. It’s pretty good, has a number of the cars and other vehicles used in the films and they’ve matched the vehicles with video screens showing clips where they appear so you can picture them. My favourite was the underwater car – that was a memory from my childhood!

    Maybe Admin should start doing a review of not-known-about Museums in London? Quirky ones always welcome! I’m sure he knows most of them already!

  4. admin says:

    I went to the London Film Museum on the day it opened, and it really wasn’t ready to open, so I haven’t been back – one has to beware of museums which are privately owned, not state-created, because often they’re terrible. I saw the Bond exhibition at the Barbican which had the vehicles, so I haven’t felt the need to go again…

  5. Porl says:

    Need to get this place on my “Go See” list when Im next in that London!

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