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Set design - Humpty Dumpty
  • Humpty Dumpty
    Kingman, Tod, born 1910 - died 1987
  • Enlarge image

Humpty Dumpty

  • Object:

    Set design

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (designed)

  • Date:

    1959 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kingman, Tod, born 1910 - died 1987 (designers)
    Delany, Edward (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache and watercolour and pencil on card.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Roger Fox

  • Museum number:

    S.2548-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Cutcloth showing a scene with 'The Tents of a Travelling Fair' in the pantomime Humpty Dumpty, London Palladium, 1959.

In 1947, Val Parnell took over the management of the London Palladium, one of the largest theatres in Britain. Under Parnell, the Palladium presented large-scale spectacular pantomimes until 1987 and became known as the Home of Pantomime due to its lavish productions featuring the biggest celebrity names of the time.

Humpty Dumpty starred Harry Secombe as Humpty Dumpty and Roy Castle as Simple Simon. The show’s scenery was designed by Tod Kingman and Edward Delany and was said to be so spectacular that, according to the Times, there were “times when the stage [could] almost be heard to creak under the loads of scenery.”
The Observer commended the production’s “imaginatively designed costumes and sets” and many newspapers, including the Guardian, described the finale to act one:
“The scenery is lavish without being too artistic, and the pageant of the four seasons ends in a wondrous snowfall, with the entry aloft of Father Christmas’s sleigh (real) which suddenly – when your heart is already in your mouth – bursts into twinkling lights, and tough men find they are gulping.” Guardian

Physical description

Cutcloth showing a scene with 'The Tents of a Travelling Fair' in the pantomime <i>Humpty Dumpty,</i> London Palladium, 1959. The night time scene is painted in tones of purple, blue, pink and red. It features a series of tall circular tents with their high roofs surmounted by flagpoles and flags. Two small wooden painted carts stand to the left of the tents, the cart in the foreground is painted in tones of red and white and supported on large, round wheels. The scene is illuminated by a lantern which hangs from a wooden pole at the left side of the scene. A series of houses, suggesting the distant town, are visible in the background.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (designed)

Date

1959 (designed)

Artist/maker

Kingman, Tod, born 1910 - died 1987 (designers)
Delany, Edward (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Gouache and watercolour and pencil on card.

Dimensions

Height: 30.2 cm Widest part, Width: 63.8 cm Widest part

Descriptive line

Cutcloth showing a scene with 'The Tents of a Travelling Fair' in the pantomime Humpty Dumpty, London Palladium, 1959

Materials

Pencil; Paper; Gouache; Card; Sellotape

Techniques

Drawing (image-making); Painting (image-making)

Categories

Designs; Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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