15 February 2022 / Exhibition

50 Years of the Orange Tree Theatre – Museum of Richmond

From a room above the pub to an award-winning independent theatre, discover the extraordinary history of the Orange Tree as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The exhibition is at the Museum of Richmond: opening hours: Tuesday – Friday, 11am – 5pm; Saturday, 11am – 4pm

Hear from the inspirational people who built and continue to shape London’s only permanent theatre in the round, ensuring the legacy of Richmond’s rich theatrical tradition.

Curator and executive officer for the museum, Laura Irwin, said: “The exhibition is a chance to tell the Orange Tree’s extraordinary history – from room above the pub to award-winning independent theatre; London’s only permanent theatre in the round.

“It showcases stories about the actors, writers, directors and staff who have made it their own along the way.”

The exhibition includes oral history interviews with the husband and wife team who founded the theatre, Sam Walters, the former artistic director, and Auriol Smith, the actor and writer; as well as the current Artistic Director, Paul Miller.

There are displays from the theatre’s archives, including props and artworks, which tell its story from its origins in a room above the Orange Tree pub to the former Victorian primary school, which became its home in 1991.

The move – and a £750,000 conversion of the building – was made possible through an through an appeal by then Richmond residents Sir Richard and Lady Attenborough.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a learning programme and series of events including talks, half-term family workshops and Arts Award summer schools.

Curator Tours

Every Saturday in the New Year – beginning January 8 at 11am – there will be a free 20 curator tour of the exhibition. Visitors will be able to listen to behind-the-scenes stories and hear about the selection of photographs, props and archival materials on display.  This exhibition was also supported by a Practitioner Grant from the Society for Theatre Research.

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