London Gets A New Museum
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.