The Museum of London opens Beasts of London on 5 April 2019; a state of the art, immersive and digital experience that takes visitors on a journey through time, from before London was created through to the present day.
Inspired by objects drawn from the museum’s world class collection and working in partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama, this family-friendly show brings you face to face with the beasts both large and small who helped shape the city we know today. Made up of nine episodes, each tells the story of the capital from an animal’s perspective, highlighting some of the city’s most iconic moments.
Starting in prehistory with the very first of London’s beasts you are then guided through the arrival of the Romans. Then comes the Medieval Age when the first menageries were built in the city and then through the disastrous years of the Great Plague of the 1600s. From there you find yourself transported inside a rowdy Victorian tavern, centre ring underneath a bustling big top at the Circus and then standing side by side a group of noble horses from across the ages. Finally, you arrive back in in the 21st century to explore people’s relationship with the city’s animals today.
Beasts of London is a surprising, multi-sensory experience which sees Museum of London curators join forces with multi award-winning director, designer and audio visual specialist Dan Shorten – the video projection lead at Guildhall School. Shorten’s most recent projects include Blackout at Tower Bridge’s Bascule Chamber and Waddesdon Imaginarium at Waddesdon Manor. The animals throughout the experience are voiced by well-known names such as Kate Moss, Brian Blessed, Pam Ferris, Nish Kumar, Stephen Mangan, Angellica Bell and Joe Pasquale alongside actors from Guildhall School.
Francis Marshall, Senior Curator at the Museum of London said: “Beasts of London is the first fully-immersive show presented by the Museum of London. It is a journey that is surprising, creative, visually striking, emotionally affecting and encourages visitors to look at the animals of London in a new way and to consider our city from a very different perspective. It is a product of intensive research and boundless imagination from our team in partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama and is sure to appeal to audience members of all ages.”
Dan Shorten, creative director for Beasts of London and video projection lead at Guildhall School, said: “It has been wonderful working with the Museum of London to bring to life the story of animals throughout history in London and its streets using the latest video mapping technology. Video design is a fast growing area of Guildhall School’s work, and our production artists are regularly engaged for high profile public facing work. We can’t wait to share this immersive and spectacular world with all Museum of London visitors.”