RSC Costume Sale

14 January 2010

Retro, vintage, Early English, Elizabethan and twentieth century costumes

OVER 10,000 ITEMS IN ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY COSTUME SALE

Saturday 12 February, 10am - 5pm
RSC Rehearsal Rooms, Arden Street
(at the junction with Birmingham Rd)

The Royal Shakespeare Company will be holding a Costume Sale on Saturday 12 February at its rehearsal rooms in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Around 10,000 items including costumes, shoes, hats and accessories will be available to purchase. The sale includes over 1,000 pairs of shoes, 500 shirts, 300 hats, Egyptian head-dresses, a variety of military uniforms, cloaks, clerical outfits – including nuns and priests, jewellery and chain-mail. The items cover a wide range of periods, including retro, vintage, Early English, Elizabethan and twentieth century.

The garments in the sale, originally constructed by the world renowned RSC Costume Department, have been chosen from the RSC Costume Store (which hires out RSC costumes after they have finished being used in its productions).

Amongst the items for sales are soldiers' tabards and chain-mail from the RSC's 1984 production of Henry V (with Kenneth Branagh) and later seen in Mel Gibson's film Braveheart, a light blue 18th century waistcoat worn by Charles Dance in As You Like It, a wine velvet regency cutaway coat worn by Sir Ben Kingsley, a selection of shirts worn by Sir Ian McKellen in The Seagull and his over-robe from King Lear and numerous items worn by David Tennant (including his understudy costume from the 2008 production of Love's Labour's Lost).

Located at the RSC Workshops on the outskirts of the town, the RSC Costume Store is currently home to over 40,000 costumes. The last costume sale was in 2007, and the RSC now needs to free up more space, both to create better storage conditions, and to make room for costumes new to the Store.

Alistair McArthur, RSC Head of Costume, and Stephanie Smith, Costume Store Manager, alongside their teams, have had the Herculean task of going through every costume to select those items that will go into the sale.

Alistair McArthur said: “Looking through the wealth of costumes stored in the RSC Costume Store has taken weeks of work. It's a mammoth task, with each of the 40,000 garments held there having to be assessed and reviewed by the RSC team.

“We have items for sale from every area of the wardrobe, including costumes that first made their debut on stage back in the 1970s and 80s. The sale will include costumes designed by top theatre designers like Deirdre Clancy and our own Olivier Award-winning Tom Piper. With many items starting at just £3 we hope that people will take the opportunity to come along and purchase a piece of theatre history.”

The sale, which takes place at the RSC's rehearsal rooms in Arden Street in Stratford-upon-Avon (at the junction with Birmingham Road), will be open to members of the public on Saturday 12 February between 10am-5pm. Customer parking is available nearby at the Stratford District Council pay and display car park on Arden Street, and there is a facility for customer collection only, at the front of the building.


Further information

For more press information please contact:

Nada Zakula in the RSC press office on 01789 412622 (nada.zakula@rsc.org.uk) or Dean Asker on 01789 412660 (dean.asker@rsc.org.uk)

(Dean is back in the office from Monday 17 January)

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