MAD Museum in Stratford run by Kenilworth family launches new Shakespeare-themed red phone box exhibit

A MAD Museum official and artist Pascal Bettex with the red phone box art exhibit
A MAD Museum official and artist Pascal Bettex with the red phone box art exhibit

A Kenilworth family who own and run the MAD (Mechanical Art and Design) Museum have converted an old red phone box into a Shakespeare-themed exhibit.

A brand-new moving sculpture inside an old red refurbished telephone box was unveiled by The MAD Museum in Stratford on Friday January 10.

Red Phone Box with the MAD Museum

Red Phone Box with the MAD Museum

The restored phone box sits in Henley Street outside the Boston Tea Tea Party cafe.

The Museum bought the telephone box and commissioned a resident artist, Pascal Bettex, to create a sculpture inside the box.

The theme of the sculpture is a tribute to William Shakespeare and features several objects relating to the Bard and his plays.

Although the museum own the phone box after it was decommissioned by BT, it must remain in place in Henley Street.

The revamping of the telephone box follows a recent trend of converting de-commissioned telephone boxes for other uses such as coffee shops, libraries, art museums, cake shops and information centres.

More than 5,800 payphones have been adopted by communities since 2008

Pascal, a kinetic artist from Switzerland, was tasked with producing a machine which embodies the best of the MAD Museum and Stratford.

Pascal, who has already created three kinetic pieces of moving art at The MAD Museum, has spent the last two months in his homeland designing and building the kinetic artwork.

He travelled to Stratford on Wednesday 8 January with the finished work and spent two days installing it directly into the phone box

Iain Simmons, the manager at The MAD Museum who lives in Kenilworth, said: “Since we purchased the telephone box a few months ago, we have been racking our brains trying to think what we could do with this iconic British symbol.

"We hold Pascal in such high esteem that we decided he was the only choice for creating this fascinating moving masterpiece."

The sculpture will be on display 24/7 for the public to view in the red phone box.

The MAD Museum is the only permanent museum of its kind in the UK, which showcases more than 90 pieces of kinetic art and automata.

Visitors can watch and interact with mind-boggling mechanical creations such as flying mechanical birds, clever clocks and witty characters, plus build marble runs and learn some engineering and physics principals along the way.

The pieces on display have been sourced from creators from all around the world.

Voted the ‘Best Museum in Warwickshire’ on Trip Advisor, families are encouraged to press buttons, decipher mind-boggling design and become inspired.

Catering to all age groups, MAD encourages learners to interact, examine and be inspired by the inventions.