The Play's The Thing

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 new permanent exhibition.

  • Swan Cafe, Swan Theatre

    Stratford-upon-Avon

    Every day

Now open in Stratford-upon-Avon

Take a magical journey through 100 years of theatre-making in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Discover rarely-seen treasures from our museum and archive: exquisite costumes, amazing model-boxes and weird and wonderful props. Get hands-on and celebrate the creativity behind the scenes.

  • 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 
  • Dress up in the dressing room and take part in the Quick Change Challenge.
  • Discover some of the gory details of theatre-making through the A-Z of Shakespeare’s secrets and stories 
  • The story-generator - create quick and fun version of Shakespeare plays
  • Rarely-seen costumes and props from major moments from our history

Tickets: £8.50 adult, £4.25 child. 
Tickets for disabled people are £4.25. If you require the services of a companion their ticket is also £4.25.
Tickets for 16-25 years olds are £5 (not available online).
Under fives are free.

Annual Pass

Pay once and visit as often as you wish. Valid for 12 months from date of purchase.
£8.50 adult, £4.25 child, £4.25 disabled people.

Kids Go Free

Kids go free to The Play's The Thing on Sundays through December and January, and in the Christmas school holidays. 

Free tickets can be bought in advance or on the day of visit by calling 01789 403493, or at the Box Office in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Kids' free tickets are not available online.

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.

The Play's The Thing is open daily from 10am. Last entry is at 6pm (Monday to Saturday) and at 4pm (Sunday).

Tickets can be bought in advance or on the day, subject to availability, for general admission or a specific time slot.  Tickets are sold online, by phone (our direct access booking line is 01789 403 436) or from our Box Office in the Colonnade. Should the Colonnade be closed for technical works in the theatre, tickets will be available from the Swan Wing.

If you require any more information, please email access@rsc.org.uk or call 01789 403 744 where we’ll be happy to assist.

The Play’s The Thing has been made possible through a £2.8 million award from the HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND, with generous support from the GARFIELD WESTON FOUNDATION, DCMS/WOLFSON MUSEUMS & GALLERIES IMPROVEMENT FUND, THE WOLFSON FOUNDATION and many other generous supporters.