The finishing touches are underway for our Twelfth Night costumes, ready for the show to open in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on 2 November.

Our skilled costume makers in Stratford-upon-Avon are busy creating costumes for three of our upcoming shows - Twelfth Night, A Christmas Carol and Imperium Part I: Conspirator and Imperium Part II: Dictator. We have over 30 award-winning costume makers who create hundreds of costumes every year, working with our designers and actors to make costumes from all periods of time.

The first new show to open is Twelfth Night. Set in Victorian England, the designs by Simon Higlett include beautiful dresses, striking hats and stunning tailored suits.

The designs make the most of the skills in our Costume Workshop. Fabric dying, bespoke fabric painting, Victorian tailoring, plus we’re getting to grips with tailoring green silk velvet, and adding lots of lavish Victorian trim to the ladies’ bodices. We’re also hand stitching in more than 100 name labels into every costume item, from individual socks, to pants, hats and dresses.

Black silk ladies bodice under construction on a tailor's dummy in a Costume Workshop
One of the costumes which will be onstage for Twelfth Night when it opens next week.
Photo by Verity Henderson © RSC Browse and license our images

Our costumes are essential to creating the very best theatre experience for our audiences. The craftsmanship involved in every costume, and how a costume looks and feels, enables our actors to transform into the characters you see on stage. Our Stitch In Time fundraising campaign is raising money to help us to restore and redevelop our Costume Workshop in Stratford-upon-Avon, so that we can continue to create stunning costumes for audiences all over the world.