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.

  • Swan Cafe, Swan Theatre


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.

See what our Visitors think

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Tickets are available as an annual pass, on request. Valid for 12 months from the date of your first visit.

  • £8.50 adult, £4.25 child. 
  • £4.25 for disabled people - if you require the services of a companion their ticket is also £4.25
  • £5 for 16-25 year olds - not available online
  • Under fives are free.
  • Up to four kids go free on Sundays, and during the Warwickshire school holidays with every full paying adult - not available online.

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 on 01789 403 493 or from our Box Office in the Colonnade.

Last entry is at 6pm (Monday to Saturday) and 4pm (Sunday).


On Thursday 1 February to coincide with our Relaxed Performance of A Christmas Carol, we are also relaxing entry into our interactive exhibition The Play’s The Thing. Each exhibit is sign language interpreted using the Zapper App. The exhibition is fully wheelchair accessible, large print guides are available and the exhibits offer touch panels so that you can experience the textures of the costumes. You will be provided with ear defenders should you wish to use them, a copy of a sensory map which gives information about what to expect from the exhibition as well as a disposable camera for you to take photographs of items and activities that interest you. There will be a chill out area and you can come and go as you please throughout the day.

For more information call the Box Office on 01789 403493.


Special price for school groups 10+ and students in full-time education.

£4.25 + 1 free teacher's ticket for every 10 students attending.

£15.50 for a performance ticket + entrance to the exhibition.

Valid Monday - Friday.

Planned Closures

The Play's The Thing will be closed on the following dates:

  • Monday 19 March to Thursday 29 March 2018