I recently discovered Igers Bristol, an Instagram account dedicated to sharing the best of Bristolian photography with their photos of the day and exclusive viewing meet-ups in the city’s best places. So when I was given the opportunity to go along to one, I jumped at the chance!
I have to admit, I was slightly less enthusiastic as I was marching up Nugent Hill at 7:30am on that really cold Wednesday morning last week, watching people desperately scraping their car windows and wondering why I couldn’t feel the top of my thighs any more. But the beautiful sunrise made up for it, and shortly I was outside of The Royal West ofEngland Academy.
I’ve been to the RWA before, but never for a private viewing of a collection. We were ushered in and up the stairs to a breakfast feast of croissants, pain au chocolats and tea (which everyone made a beeline for, keen to reheat frozen fingers), before hearing a little about the collection and the museum while we munched on our breakfast treats. I have to say, I did particularly love standing on the balcony with my tea, being slightly dazzled by the wintery sunlight, watching the frenzy of commuters down below.
Then we were let loose on the collection; Centre Stage. Celebrating the 250th anniversary of Bristol Old Vic and 65 years of the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, the exhibition features all kinds of props, photography and wardrobes from some of the most famous theatre productions in Bristol.
My favourite props were from Mary Poppins – I’ve not actually seen it on stage yet, but it’s on my to do list, and now I’ve seen some of the props I know it’s going to be amazing. There were also some brilliantly creepy puppets from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the main gallery which caught my eye!
Moving into the temperature-controlled part of the museum, I loved the timeline of a dress, showing the process of creating wardrobe pieces from templates to the finished design. I also had to capture this photo of Patrick Stewart, just because!
Eventually had to leave the lovely calmness of the RWA and head into work, but it was a wonderful way to start the day. I would fully recommend Centre Stage to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet – though you’d better hurry, it finishes this weekend! Even if this one isn’t for you, check out their future exhibitions this year as they always have such beautifully curated collections.