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Gerald Scarfe - Stage and Screen includes Pink Floyd's The Wall animation, in Canterbury for exhibition

By Angela Cole

Gerald Scarfe is the UK’s most celebrated political cartoonist and his style is instantly recognisable.

The cartoonist for the Sunday Times for 50 years, he also designed the familiar opening title sequences for the classic TV comedy series, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.

His bold and distinctive images created the animation sequences for the film of Pink Floyd’s The Wall in 1982, as well as the live concerts and he recently collaborated with the band’s Roger Waters for a live tour of The Wall.

English National Opera - Orpheus in the Underworld Copyright: Gerald Scarfe
English National Opera - Orpheus in the Underworld Copyright: Gerald Scarfe

Now, The Beaney in Canterbury is set to give Kent residents a rare opportunity to explore his extensive –and some lesser-known – production designs.

Storyboards, costumes and props will all be on display from Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Disney’s Hercules and English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

His designs have revealed an imagination that is acerbic, explosive and unmistakable. But less well known is his lifelong contribution to the performing arts, designing some of the most high-profile productions of the last 30 years.

This exhibition, Gerald Scarfe - Stage and Screen explores his work for stage and screen and features more than 100 works including preliminary sketches, storyboards, set designs, photographs, ephemera and costumes. They include work for productions including Orpheus in the Underworld at English National Opera for which he designed the sets and costumes; The Nutcracker by English National Ballet, which was in their Christmas repertoire for five years, and Los Angeles Opera’s The Magic Flute. It also shows his 1994 work as the only external production designer for Disney, for the feature film Hercules.

Pink Floyd The Wall by Gerald Scarfe
Pink Floyd The Wall by Gerald Scarfe

Visitors will also be able to see his concept, character and animation designs for Pink Floyd’s 1982 film adaptation of The Wall. His surreal and often grotesque artwork cemented The Wall’s iconic status in pop culture.

He says of his designs, and the exhibition: “I always want to bring my creations to life – to bring them off the page and give them flesh and blood, movement and drama.”

Known for his uncompromising satire in print, Scarfe started drawing for Private Eye and Punch in the 1960s and went on to be the Sunday Times’ political cartoonist. He was made a CBE in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours and has an Honorary Degree from the University of Kent.

Political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe's work will be on show in Canterbury
Political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe's work will be on show in Canterbury

DETAILS

Gerald Scarfe - Stage and Screen is at The Beaney, Canterbury, from Saturday, March 16 to Sunday, June 16.

Entry is free, although donations go towards future exhibitions.

There will also be children's activities, including the Hercules Adventure Pack (for £5), Make Your Own Puppet Show (for £2.50) and a Make Your Own Mask for £1.50. You could try all three for £7.50.

Call 01227 862162 or visit canterburymuseums.co.uk for more information.

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