Exhibition: Production archive

Second part of the exhibition which explores the highlights from the Chichester Festival Theatre archive.

production imageProduction archive is one of two sections the exhibition Parkland to Performance, which explores highlights from the Chichester Festival Theatre archive. in two sections.

Joan Plowright & Laurence Olivier
Joan Plowright and Laurence Olivier in Uncle Vanya, 1962, CFT archive held at WSRO

Past production material forms the heart of this archive. From the first rehearsal to the final performance, every decision made is captured and recorded to create a complete set of production documents. These ensure every performance is consistent and can be used to recreate a show as it was originally performed. In the Production Archive side of the exhibition you can see the different sorts of records that are left behind after a production finishes its run.

While the audience is watching the action on stage, the continuous backstage activity is hidden as costumes are changes, lighting cues delivered and scenes eased into place. The role of director and actor may attract the most attention, but behind each performance is a multitude of professionals including designers, stage managers, technicians and crew. Such roles require a wide range of skills and expertise, and a great deal of detailed work is needed to deliver a successful production. The documents and photographs shown in the exhibition unravel some of the mystery of life backstage and the complexity of live performance.

Parkland to Performance is now on display at Littlehampton Museum until 16th October 2015.


1969 the magistrate
Alistair Sim and Christopher Guinee in The Magistrate 1969, CFT digital archive