The first major exhibition of stage designs by the celebrated cartoonist Gerald Scarfe has opened at The Beaney.

‘Gerald Scarfe – Stage and Screen’ offers visitors a rare opportunity to explore the extensive but little-known production designs by the political cartoonist, who had a 50-year career at the Sunday Times and is famous for his acerbic imagination.

But less in the spotlight has been his lifelong contribution to the performing arts, designing some of the most high-profile productions of the last 30 years.

The display at The Beaney features more than 100 works, including preliminary sketches, storyboards, set designs, photographs and costumes from productions such as The Nutcracker by English National Ballet and Los Angeles Opera’s The Magic Flute.

It also shows Scarfe’s 1994 work as the only ever external production designer for Disney, for their feature film Hercules, as well as his concept, character and animation designs for Pink Floyd’s 1982 film adaptation of The Wall.

‘Gerald Scarfe – Stage and Screen’ is a touring exhibition from House of Illustration and runs at The Beaney from Saturday 16 March to Sunday 16 June. Entry is free, with donations welcomed towards the cost of future exhibitions.

The exhibition is complemented by themed family activities, inspired by Scarfe’s work, including the Hercules adventure pack (£5), make your own puppet show (£2.50) and make your own mask (£1.50) – or try all three for £7.50.

Image credit: Orpheus in the underworld – set design © Gerald Scarfe.