It is, of course, true that Madame Tussaud wax museum was French in origin. Madame Tussaud was indeed born in Paris in 1761, and was herself a modeler of waxworks in her uncle's waxwork museum in the French capital. It is said she perfected her skills by modeling the royal family of France. Despite her monarchist sentiments, she managed to survive the French Revolution and the reign of terror that followed, making death masks of many of its famous victims, including Marat and Robespierre. In 1802, she brought the collection, which she had by then inherited from her uncle, and her children to England. There she travelled around the country for thirty-three years before setting in London's Marylebone area. She lived the exhausting and precarious life of a travelling showman, moving from town to town with her caravans, organising advertising, and encouraging newspaper anecdotes, or organising charity benefits to bring in useful patrons.
She suffered shipwreck in the Irish Sea, and fire during the Bristol Riots of 1831. Yet, throughout the travelling years, new figures were constantly introduced. When she finally settled in the English capital she was seventy-four years old. Some years later, she made a self-portrait, which reveals her as a small and unsmiling old lady. In 1850, at the age of eighty-nine, she died peacefully in her sleep. In her old age, supported by two sons, she had achieved great success. She had resisted a U.S. buy-out, her memoirs had been published, and her portrait was painted by a court painter. She had been immortalised by Dickens (as Mrs Jarley) and caricatured by Cruikshank.
She died, but her museum did not. Naturally the famous Madame Tussaud wax museum survived and by now has quite a rich history. During the years of its existence, the Madame Tussaud wax museum went through a great fire, which destroyed most of the waxworks and priceless furniture. Fortunately it was rebuilt and reopened boasting some additional exhibition halls. Later the Cinema hall was destroyed by a German bomb, and strange it may seem but the only figure untouched by the explosion was that of Hitler. Still later, instead of the destroyed Cinema the Commonwealth's first Planetarium was opened and prepared to meet visitors.
Madame Tussauds wax museum is constantly developing. From immersive themed entertainments to imaginative use of state-of-the-art technology, it brings its customers a truly ground-breaking and contemporary experience. Just a year ago the museum opened a new show 'Air Guitar Star' starring The Darkness' Justin Hawkins. More new interactive attractions open; In 'Divas', starring Beyonce, Britney and Kylie, guests are taught dance moves and perform on stage with feedback on their performance from Beyonce via video link.
All these innovations in the most famous wax museum go along with the exhibitions and halls, considered to be typically Madame Tussaud's: such as the Conservatory, where visitors can view life-size wax models of sport, film and TV personalities; the 'Super Stars' hall, where a number of popular people are embodied and presented; the Grand Hall, peopled by historical, political, military and royal figures; and the Chamber of Horrors, where terrifying scenes follow terrifying scenes: there are even models illustrating methods of execution.
It is easy to understand why some people criticize parts of Madame Tussaud wax museum for its horror and sensationalism. It is even easier to understand why more people go there to be entertained.