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The Vintage Guide To London | January 20, 2018

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Homage to the tramp: Charlie Chaplin – the great Londoner

Charles Chaplin was born in 1889 in East Street, Lambeth, where he spent most of his childhood in poverty. He was even temporarily orphaned when his mother was forced into a mental asylum. From an early age Chaplin found escape in London’s music halls where he made his mark as a boy actor, laying the foundations to a career that would take him to Hollywood and international fame. The London Film Museum currently features an excellent exhibition on Chaplin and his rags to riches story.

The exhibition tells Chaplin’s story in six main sections, evoking consecutive phases of his dramatic career from his childhood in London’s East End, his first roles in the music halls to his success in America and the creation of the much-loved figure of The Tramp.

Original pieces on display include:
– Programme for Canterbury Music Hall. On the bill is Charles Chaplin Snr.
– Fred Karno’s script from Mummy’s Birds
– Pathe Freres 35mm camera with winding handle
– Charlie Chaplin’s bowler hat with customs declaration
– Charlie Chaplin’s cane with original case and customs declaration
– Selection of Chaplin merchandise including Wind Up toys and Special Edition newspapers

The London Film Museum
1st Floor
Riverside Building
County Hall
London SE1 7PB

Nearest Tube: Waterloo, Westminster, Embankment
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