This podcast series, created and hosted by Research Assistant Becky Rae, visits a range of museums and archives across the South West of England to discover more about Vivien Leigh's connection to the area and her lasting legacies preserved there by a range of heritage institutions.
Episode 1 - "There Was This Dress In A Sainsbury's Polythene Bag..."
In this first episode, Lisa and Becky head to Topsham Museum in Devon to meet with Volunteer Collections Manager, Rachel Nichols, to find out how a costume from the most successful film ever made, Gone with the Wind, ended up in this small estuary town. They also speak to volunteer researcher Liz Ronchetti, and Keith Lodwick from the V&A.
Episode 2 - "Exeter Could Maybe Take It Off Your Hands..."
In this episode, we visit the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Devon, to speak to curator Shelley Tobin who looks after their extensive textile collection. She discusses how several garments of Vivien Leigh's came to be part of their collection including a broadtail fur dress and couture evening gown. We look at these dresses closer up to find out what new stories they can reveal about Leigh herself.
Episode 3 - "The English Girl That Could Do The Southern Accent..."
This episode sees us at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum in Exeter, Devon, exploring a collection of ephemera linked to Leigh's film career and star image. We speak to curator Dr. Phil Wickham, who takes us through an assortment of these items; one in particular addressed an area of Leigh's career often overlooked - her voice. This led to a further discussion with academic Georgia Brown whose PhD project focuses on just that.
Episode 4 - "I Love My Clothes"
In this last episode, Lisa and Becky take a trip to the Fashion Museum in Bath, Somerset, to visit more dress and textile items owned and worn by Vivien Leigh; one on display to the public, and the others in their research reading room along with one mysterious paper letter and three accession cards. The names mentioned in the letter reveal a network of professional and personal friendships that highlight elements of Leigh's career and social life. Her love of clothes, and the women who worked to conserve them, are told in this final episode looking at Leigh's archival connections to the South West of England.