This exhibition has now closed, find out what else is going on at The Foundling Museum

Displayed throughout the whole of the Foundling Museum, this interactive exhibition will delve into the mechanics of theatre and concert-going in 18th and 19th-century England.

Two Last Nights! Show Business in Georgian Britain is a how-to guide to going to a show in the 18th century. With more than 100 objects on display, visitors will discover the surprising similarities and astonishing differences between theatre and festival-going then and now, including advertising, ticket sales, audience behaviour and dress code.

Going to a show flourished as a popular pastime in the 18th century and as a result, the entertainment industry saw rapid expansion: many theatres were built, and music festivals began in both London and the provinces. These growing forms of entertainment contributed to the vast range of audience experiences we know today.

Audiences will get a fascinating glimpse of behind-the-scenes roles, from theatre managers, set designers and scenery-painters, to the refreshment sellers and ticket collectors. Discover how leading artists of the day, including Hogarth, Hayman and Lambert, crossed over into the world of show business as set designers and scenery painters.

Prints & drawings18th century art19th century artLondon

The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, London, Greater London, WC1N 1AZ

020 7841 3600


Opening times

Wednesday - Saturday 10:00-17:00, Sunday 11:00-17:00

With a National Art Pass you get

Free entry
Standard entry price

Price displayed is based on a standard venue entry price. Prices may vary according to ticket type and entry day/time.

Price correct at time of publication.

Ready to discover more? Choose your pass

Exhibitions and events at The Foundling Museum

Related exhibitions

Back to top