Explore the imaginative ways that Shakespeare’s stories, settings and characters have been brought to life on stage.

Our new family-friendly visitor attraction, The Play's the Thing, opens in Stratford-upon-Avon in October 2016. You can:  

  • Try on virtual costumes with a magic costume mirror
  • Take the Quick Change Challenge
  • Put yourself on our stage through state of the art technology
  • See beautifully crafted costumes and props
  • Learn how magical and gory stage and sound effects are made - a snapping carrot makes the noise of bone breaking
  • Discover how set design, lighting, sound and music all help to create the world you see on stage
The Chandos Portrait of William Shakespeare
© RSC – Image Licensing

The exhibition includes costumes worn by David Tennant, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Laurence Olivier, Paul Robeson and Vivien Leigh.

To mark the opening, the most recognised portrait of William Shakespeare will be on display. The Chandos portrait is being loaned to us by the National Portrait Gallery for a limited time and will sit alongside a rare first folio of Shakespeare’s plays, dating from 1623.

The Play’s the Thing is open daily in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, from 22 October 2016.

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