Simon is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where he is responsible for the National Collection of Theatre and Performance’s holdings post-1945.
He was responsible for the cataloguing of the Vivien Leigh Archive, David Cregan Archive and Questor’s Theatre Club Archive and managed the Heritage Lottery Funded Peter Brook: Archive to Action! project after the Museum acquired the Peter Brook Collection in 2014. Significant acquisitions for the Museum include the Tommy Cooper Collection, Dame June Whitfield Archive, Ivan Kyncl Photographic Collection and Madness Archive.
Simon is responsible for the Theatre & Performance permanent galleries at South Kensington, manages the department’s curators and organises all industry and post-16 higher education group visits and workshops. Recent displays and exhibitions include Censored: Stage, Screen Society at 50, Ivan Kyncl: in the Minute and Laughing Matters: The State of a Nation. He is currently working on the V&A’s major exhibition for 2020: Alice: Down the Rabbit Hole.
Simon is a member of the academic advisory board for Blackpool Museum Project and Head of Performance on the prestigious RCA / V&A History of Design Masters course.
- Exhibition: Alice: Down the Rabbit Hole (June – Jan)
- Exhibition: Ivan Kyncl: In the Minute (February – July)
- Display: Laughing Matters: The State of a Nation (March onwards)
- Display: Have you in Stitches! The Comedy Closet (February)
- Rotation and re-display for the Theatre and Performance Galleries, including new interactive (February onwards)
- Exhibition: Censored!: Stage, Screen, Society at 50 (July 2018 – January 2019)
- Lunchtime Lecture: Censored!: Stage, Screen, Society at 50
- Curator Talk: Censored!: Stage, Screen, Society at 50
- It’s 50 years since the end of stage censorship in Britain – but how free are artists really? (Independent)
- V&A exhibition to put censorship of the arts in the spotlight (The Stage)
- Uncovering censorship in the V and A Theatre and Performance Archives (Archives Hub)
- Hair: The Musical that changed theatre forever (BBC)
- Lunchtime Lecture: Panto at the London Palladium (December)
- V&A / RCA History of Design (MA): Performance Pathway
- Event: Carry on Curating: Stand Up at the V&A (April)
- Conference: Brexit the Stage: What Next for British Theatre and Europe? (April)
- Conference: Intersections Conference: Performing References / Referencing Performance
- Event: Celebrating Bowie at 70
- Acquisition: Tommy Cooper Collection
- Display: Tommy Cooper: Just Like That! (November)
- Q&A with Simon Sladen (Museums Association)
- V&A acquires Tommy Cooper collection of jokes and props – but no fez (Guardian)
- Jus’ like that: Tommy’s magic on show at the V&A (The Stage)
- Tommy Cooper’s fez finally goes on display (Telegraph)
- Not quite ‘just like that’ (MuseumCrush)
- Conference: Pantomime Study Afternoon
- Event: Oh Yes It Is: The Great British Panto – Q&A with Toyah Willcox
- Lunchtime Lecture: 12 Dames of Christmas
- Conference: You Say You Want A Revolution? The 70s: What’s Not To Love?
- Conference: The 60s Explosion: The Decade that Changed the World
- Conference: Archiving Amateur Dramatics
- Event: Garuda – Celebrating Ram Gopal
- Conference: Musical Theatre Study Day