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How the V&A recreated an 18th-century Mechanical Theatre

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An 18th-century mechanical theatre was a technology of tricks and devices that changed scenes almost miraculously. With nothing of this scale from history surviving, watch as exhibition designer, Patrick Burnier and his team recreate a spectacular mechanical theatre for the exhibition, Opera: Passion, Power and Politics. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to watch regular performances of a galleon cast adrift in a storm, with the odd mermaid.

Go behind the scenes with Burnier, theatre historian Professor Christopher Baugh, scenic designer Simon Bejer and the rest of their team to see how this 18th-century Mechanical Theatre was made at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Next: The Silver Swan, an 18th century automaton at the Bowes Museum, The Writer, automata by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, and What Happens Just Before Show Time At the Met Opera.

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