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University of Bristol Theatre Collection
Cantocks Close
Bristol, UK

Phone: (0117) 3315086

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Theatre Collection The John Elvery Collection

Ugly Sister in Cinderella John Elvery (1939-1997) was a theatre designer, who spent the majority of his career based in the city of Bristol.

After originally training as a dancer with Ballet Rambert, he went onto Wimbledon College of Art to study Theatre Design. His early design work included stints at theatres in Liverpool, Coventry and the Nottingham Playhouse, as well as working as a freelance designer. Between 1972 and 1986, he was Head of Design at Bristol Old Vic, where he produced an extensive collection of artwork .

John Elvery's work covered a wide range of theatre design, most notably pantomime. He established a trademark of commitment to period detail and accuracy, effortlessly moving from abstract, minimalist sets to pantomime glitter. His skill as an artist can also be seen in some of the tromp l'oeil murals that he painted in buildings throughout Bristol. He also taught design at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

The John Elvery collection contains original artwork for costume and set designs for over forty productions, including set models, production photographs, as well as personal photographs. His eye for detail and accuracy can be observed throughout the collection and provides inspiration for any aspiring theatre designers.

View a list of items held in the Theatre Collection relating to John Elvery.

Other Useful sites
Bristol Old Vic
Nottingham Playhouse

For further information about the Theatre Collection please tel. 0117 331 5086 (daytime) or email