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Set design - Babes in the Wood
  • Babes in the Wood
    Shanks, Alec Mr, born 1904 - died 1987
  • Enlarge image

Babes in the Wood

  • Object:

    Set design

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (designed)

  • Date:

    1950 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shanks, Alec Mr, born 1904 - died 1987 (designers)
    Erté, born 1892 - died 1990 (designers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache and watercolour on card

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Roger Fox

  • Museum number:

    S.1012-2015

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Set design for 'Outside the Baron's House' in pantomime Babes in the Wood, London Palladium, 1950.

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.

Babes in the Wood starred actor Sonnie Hale as Nurse Glucose and stage and screen actress and singer Adele Dixon as Robin Hood. The production was described by The Times as “up to date [...] with scenery and songs adapted to current standards of taste.” The show’s scenery and costumes were designed by Alec Shanks and Erté, who had previously designed the cat ballet costumes for 1949’s Puss in Boots at the venue.

The show also featured Kirby’s flying ballet and a ‘corps de ballet’ of 33 dancers.

Physical description

Set design for 'Outside the Baron's House' in pantomime Babes in the Wood, London Palladium, 1950. The design is of the Baron's house with other town buildings in the background. His house is green with steps leading up to a wooden door. There is a lamp above the door. The window has shutters which are closed. There is a roof at the top of the house peak which is asymmetrical in shape. The roof is curved and asymmetrical. There is an open gate to the right of the house and a larger house behind with a tower. The rest of the town is also in green with various asymmetrical details.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (designed)

Date

1950 (designed)

Artist/maker

Shanks, Alec Mr, born 1904 - died 1987 (designers)
Erté, born 1892 - died 1990 (designers)

Materials and Techniques

Gouache and watercolour on card

Marks and inscriptions

'48 B, 2 W / Built [?] Door / and 2 slits [?] / [illegible] / [illegible] / Backing'
Handwritten in pen on plastic covering design

'The Baron's Backdoor / (Babes in the Wood)'
Handwritten on the reverse in pencil

Dimensions

Height: 30.5 cm, Width: 61 cm

Descriptive line

Set design for 'Outside the Baron's House' in pantomime Babes in the Wood, London Palladium, 1950

Materials

Gouache; Watercolour; Card

Techniques

Painting (image-making)

Categories

Designs; Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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