Unseen Richard Burton memorabilia unveiled

Thursday 3 November 2011, 16:36

Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain

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Previously unseen items from Richard Burton's youth have gone on display in a permanent exhibition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

The college recently underwent a dramatic transformation with a £22.5 million rebuild. It opened its new facilities in June earlier this year and one feature of the redevelopment was a new 160 seat theatre, named the Richard Burton Theatre after the Welsh actor who hailed from Pontrhydyfen.

The new exhibition was unveiled yesterday and sheds new light on Burton's early life in Wales. Items in the display have been donated on permanent loan by Burton's niece, Rhiannon James Trowell.

Theatre design graduate Kelly Bannister puts the finishing touches to a display case. Photo: Ollie Edwards

Theatre design graduate Kelly Bannister puts the finishing touches to a display case. Photo: Ollie Edwards

Items on show for the first time include some of Burton's school and Eisteddfod certificates, together with his school cricket team photograph from 1939 and a simple wooden tray he made for his sister Cecilia.

Also on display are letters and postcards that Burton penned while serving in Canada in the RAF in the latter years of World War Two.

The clothes trunk that was used by the actor in the early 1950s during his many trans-Atlantic voyages is on display having been gifted by RWCMD graduate and actor Josh Richards.

The Richard Burton Theatre was officially opened by Kate Burton, Richard's actor daughter, on 23 June 2011.

The interior of the Richard Burton Theatre. Photo: Nick Guttridge/BFLS

The interior of the Richard Burton Theatre. Photo: Nick Guttridge/BFLS

She unveiled a bronze bust of the actor that had previously been presented to the college by Burton's former wife Dame Elizabeth Taylor. The bust now sits at the entrance to the Richard Burton Theatre.

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