Anniversaire Charlie Chaplin

A particular year at Chaplin's World

Mar 18, 2019

In 2019, the museum will mark the 130th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin's birth by staging a series of events. A chance to discover (or rediscover) this attraction, which was also the actor's family home.

Almost three years after it opened, Chaplin's World is paying tribute to the King of the Silent Screen, born on 16 April 1889. Already voted Best European Museum by the European Museum Academy in 2018, Chaplin's World was also chosen as Trip Advisor's Traveller's Choice in the same year. Visitors to the museum at Manoir de Ban above Vevey – home to the actor and his family until 1977 – can breathe in the intimate ambience of this spot as they stroll in the park or admire the sets for his greatest films. To mark this anniversary, Chaplin's World is staging shows, activities and surprises throughout the year.

For its first temporary exhibition titled «Chaplin Personal from 1952 to 1973», Chaplin’s World by Grévin chose to emphasize the private facets of Charlie Chaplin by exhibiting photographs by Yves Debraine, the artist’s official Swiss photographer. From 20 February to 5 May, some 50 photographs can be viewed by the public at the Manoir de Ban, many of which have never been shown before.

An exhibition in five stages
The layout of the exhibition traces selected aspects of Chaplin’s life in Switzerland, in chronological order: his arrival at the Beau Rivage Palace in 1952 and his life on Swiss soil, including leisurely times with the family at the circus in Vevey’s market square. Annual greeting cards, featuring the Chaplin family, were also part of Debraine’s remit, along with capturing the many events and birthdays of life at Manoir de Ban.

From 13 to 28 April, a show presented jointly with circus school Alchimie will launch the festivities. Thrice-daily performances will recreate the ambience of a 1920s circus. Performers will juggle hats, along with high-speed chases and acrobatic feats in homage to Chaplin's aptly named cinema masterpiece, The Circus. The whole show is accompanied by a children's orchestra playing songs written by Chaplin. Varied occasional activities such as treasure hunts and a flea circus will enliven weekends and public holidays.

This autumn, a new wax figure of Charlie will be unveiled in the museum. It portrays him in his iconic pose, standing with his cane, wearing his famous costume and his hat. A chance that no selfie fan will want to miss! Three waxworks of Charlie Chaplin are already on show here: the first welcomes visitors to the manor and two others portray the actor in his films: The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator.

Next winter, a documentary focusing on the "real" Charlie Chaplin will be screened in the museum's cinema. It is the work of Peter Middleton and James Spinney, who directed the highly acclaimed Notes on Blindness. The two-man team was able to access previously unpublished images and audio material – in particular, a 1966 interview with Richard Meryman, a reporter with Life Magazine at that time. This film aims to portray the cinema pioneer from a new angle, focusing on the man behind the character of the Tramp.

Finally, both the interior of the Manor and the park will be bathed in light for Christmas. Illuminations and projections will create a fairytale ambience to bring the year to a close.

This anniversary will also be celebrated extensively outside Switzerland. The Philarmonie of Paris will pay tribute to Chaplin's musical work, to be featured in an exhibition. Nantes will honour the avant-garde aspect of his creative work in a similar way. And in Bratislava, the Slovak National Theatre will dedicate a ballet to him. Lastly, a comic strip adaptation of his life will be published this autumn.

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