Marie Tussauds mastered the intricacies of creating wax figures in the years when her mother worked as housekeeper for Philip Curtis, a wax figure specialist. Madame Tussauds, who transported her figures around the towns and villages of England (like magicians, circus performers or traveling troupes of the time), settled in London in 1835. In the late 19th century, the museum moved from Baker Street to a house on Marylebone Road, where it remains today. The concept has changed little: those of mass success (frightening, disgusting, or admirable) must be sculpted without delay. The Liverpool Four, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, Hitler, Chaplin are next to Amy Winehouse, the royal family including the hereditary couple, Benedict Cumberbatch and the heroes of all the Star Wars episodes.
Today, Madame Tussauds is the world’s largest and most famous wax museum. Movie and show business stars, presidents, prime ministers of different countries, the president, kings and queens – there is no one in the exposition! The branches of the museum work in 10 more cities on different continents so now you can argue in which of the museums Tom Cruise or J.Lo look more natural. You can stand in line for up to several hours at the London museum, as it is extremely popular with tourists.
The degree of realism is amazing, enhanced by the “ability” of some figures to move, talk and react to the actions of visitors: Jennifer Lopez, for example, blushes at indiscreet glances.
The popularity of the museum does not diminish, because it is always sensitive to the appearance of new prominent personalities and celebrities, regardless of their occupation. The appearance of new characters in the exhibition takes place solemnly, in the presence of members of the press and numerous guests. But the statues disappear quietly and unnoticed as soon as their real counterparts lose their popularity. Of course, there are characters who have ensured their wax doubles a permanent place in the museum’s collection with their real qualities.
It would seem to be an entertainment for children, but numerous tourists consider the Madame Tussauds Museum to be a “mast-visit” place in London, although the entrance fee is quite high (however, on the museum website you can find interesting promotions, such as a combined ticket for two seats).
Many people at Madame Tussauds are attracted by the opportunity to be photographed hugging a star. The museum staff doesn’t mind, despite the fact that several of the characters have already been “pinched to death” by enthusiastic tourists. But the most interesting section is the Spirit of London exhibition, which shows scenes of London life in different eras, from Elizabethan times to the present.
Address: NW1 5LR, London, Marylebone Rd.
Opening hours: 9:00-19:00.
Buy ticket online.
Admission: 29 GBP (if purchased online) or 35 GBP (at the box office), children (ages 4-15) 24 and 30 GBP respectively. Prices on the page are as of November 2018.
- Monday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Tuesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Wednesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Thursday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Friday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Saturday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Sunday 9:00 PM - 7:00 PM