New Exhibitions

20 March 2014

Is This A Dagger?

An exploration of RSC props by Stand + Stare Collective, Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and will be held in the PACCAR Room.

Exhibited from 4 April to 21 September 2014 with free admission.

The Royal Shakespeare Company's prop store is the focus of a new exhibition by the Bristol based Stand + Stare Collective. Visitors can explore the secrets behind twelve props from the Company's fascinating prop store, find out more about how they are made, the stories that lie behind them and what happens to a prop once a production ends.

Using audio interviews and interactive videos the objects will be used to tell the stories of how the props team work. Props appearing in the exhibition include a dagger from Macbeth, alarm clock from The Taming of the Shrew, Yorick's skull from Hamlet and a Jester's head from King Lear.

Alan Fell, Head of Properties workshop commented, "our team make, source, or find props for all RSC productions, all of which begin their life in Stratford-upon-Avon. We use a huge range of skills from carving and sculpting to basket weaving and upholstery and the work is extremely detailed.  Accuracy according to period is essential so we spend a lot of time consulting reference books, researching online and at museums. A prop is anything that appears on stage which is not scenery, a costume or a hat and we're often asked to make the strangest things. We're looking forward to sharing some of these stories through the exhibition."

Lucy Heywood of Stand + Stare also commented, "the RSC's props store is a vast, sprawling warehouse full of aisles of metal shelves. It's stuffed with weird and wonderful props from snails to sailing ships, all waiting to be reused or recycled. Through animation and video we'll immerse the audience into this magical world and tell the wonderful stories of twelve of the props."

Who Wears The Trousers?

Inspired by the production of The Roaring Girl, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, by Girls Who Draw with guest curator, Lisa Meyer of Capsule. To be held at the Ferguson Room from 7 May to 31 August 2014, with free admission.

Inspired by the Swan Theatre production of The Roaring Girl, Girls Who Draw, a small group of female illustrators, explore the notion of cross-dressing in theatre. Their playful illustrations will appear on mix and match blocks which are joined together to create life-size characters.  People can rotate the blocks to create different characters and mirrors placed in the block tower; otherwise known as exquisite corpses, that will allow visitors themselves to appear as part of the illustration.

"Throughout history and in almost every culture, disguising one's gender has been a common plotline in folklore, literature and theatre. We want people to have fun with the exhibition, which will ask the question what clothing means to us today in a world where women wear trousers, men have long hair and clothing is often gender neutral," said Lisa Meyer, guest Curator from Capsule.

She added, "visitors can twist the blocks to mix them and see how the different sections interact whilst creating a new character. We'll tell the story of cross-dressing in performance on the gallery walls and children will be able to add their own colourful creations to the exhibition too."

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