The Play's The Thing

The Play's The Thing

Secrets and Stories from

the world’s most famous theatre company

In autumn 2016 we open a major new exhibition celebrating the magic of Shakespeare on stage.

  • Swan Reading Room,Swan Theatre


    22 Oct 2016 - 21 Jan 2017

Next performance:

22 October, 10:00AM

Swan Reading Room,Swan Theatre

A brand new exhibition full of treasures from our archives and museum collection, including rarely-seen props, exquisite costumes and original set designs. Discover the secrets and stories from more than 100 years of theatre-making.

  • 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 Play's the Thing, opens in Stratford-upon-Avon in October 2016.

For more information about the accessibility of the exhibition visit our access pages.


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.