The Play's The Thing

Secrets and Stories from

the world’s most famous theatre company

Take a magical journey through 100 years of theatre-making in Stratford-upon-Avon with our award-winning interactive exhibition.

Open daily in Stratford-upon-Avon from 10.20am

Take a magical journey through 100 years of theatre-making in Stratford-upon-Avon. On display are stunning costumes and props from our archives as well as a rare copy of Shakespeare's first folio.

Get hands-on with our interactive exhibits:

  • Director’s ‘desk’ – discover the inspiration behind some of our most acclaimed shows
  • Play Hamlet alongside actor Ewart James Walters, using state-of-the-art gaming technology 
  • Magic Costume Mirror – try on virtual costumes from our collection and take a photo 
  • Discover gory details of theatre-making through the A-Z of Shakespeare’s secrets and stories 

The exhibition starts on the ground floor of the Swan Theatre, by the entrance to the Swan Cafe, and continues up to the floor above.


Costume Design Activity Trail in The Play's The Thing

Brand new family activities in The Play's The Thing

Activity for ages 7 - 9

Help Francis the Pig find the prop thief by following the hidden clues around the exhibition. Solve the mystery and save the play!

Activity for ages 10+

You are a trainee designer on your first job at the RSC. Use the exhibition as inspiration to design a costume for the next big Shakespeare production. From selecting colours, textures and setting, use your imagination to help bring the production to life.

Activities are free of charge with your exhibition ticket.