Behind the Stage – Plas Newydd, National Trust

Behind the Stage at Plas Newydd was an exhibition designed and curated by vPPR that delved into the family history and archives of the Marquess of Anglesey at this charismatic house along the banks of the Menai Straits, as a way to explain the major renovations that are currently underway at the house.

Behind the Stage ran until the house closed on 3 November 2019 and re-opened again in Spring 2020.


  • Use: Exhibition
  • Location:  Anglesey, Wales
  • Heritage: Grade I listed
  • Status: Complete
  • Date: Spring 2020


  • Client: National Trust
  • Architects: vPPR Architects
  • Graphic design: 12 Design
  • Narrative: Eleanor Scoones
  • Contractor: Arciform
  • Photography © Stephen King


vPPR Architects completed the exhibition design and interpretation for the National Trust at Plas Newydd to explain the major renovations that were underway at the house.

Like all houses, Plas Newydd has been through several changes over the years. From the flamboyant extravagance of the 5th Marquess, converting a chapel into a theatre, to the more practical changes brought about by the 6th Marquess and the Marchioness in the 1930s, including the introduction of modern plumbing and central heating.

vPPR used the metaphor of theatre to interweave the story of new renovation works with historical narratives behind this enchanting country house. Each room was conceived as an Act in a play, relating to the different aspects of the new reserviceing works.

The multisensory interpretive design communicates through interventions that recall the back-of-house at a theatre: scaffold towers, moveable screens or flats, construction spotlights, tables piled with carefully labelled props.

It is the National Trust’s biggest conservation project in Wales and the largest work to the house since the 1930s. Most of the reservicing work will be hidden behind the walls and floors, the ‘scenery’ of this amazing house. By peeling back the layers, it is possible to reveal the immense amount of work that goes into a project like this.

The project team included with Twelve Design (graphic design), Eleanor Scoones (narrative content) and Simon Pyke (sound effects).

Visit Plas Newydd House and Gardens, Behind the Stage for more information.

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