Entertaining the Nation: Stars of music, stage and screen

25 May 2011 - 8 January 2012

Do you love Carry On films? Can’t imagine life without The Beatles? Laughed till you cried at Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat?

Entertaining the Nation explored the fascinating untold story of Jewish contribution to British entertainment from Victorian music hall to the stars of today.

Jewish entertainers have brightened our lives for decades – in music, stage and screen. We are all familiar with TV and movie stars such as Peter Sellers, Sid James or Simon Amstell, as well as famous directors and writers like Mike Leigh and Harold Pinter behind the scenes, and singers from Frankie Vaughan and Alma Cogan to Marc Bolan and Amy Winehouse. But did you know that The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Sex Pistols all had Jewish managers? Or that the classic English Ealing comedies were created by Michael Balcon, the son of Jewish immigrants?

This ground-breaking exhibition explored the stories behind these household names through a fascinating display of costumes, props, vintage photographs, posters and hands-on objects as well as archive footage and newly commissioned films, in a 1920s inspired cinema.

The exhibition offered a range of fun activities for children and families including interactive displays, a dressing up box and a special exhibition trail.

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