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25th Jun, 2022

Theatre fans flock to RSC costume jumble sale

Ian Hughes 27th Sep, 2017

THE ROYAL Shakespeare Company cleared out its wardrobes at the weekend.

Some 1700 people descended on the company’s former rehearsal rooms on Arden Street for the The Costume Jumble Sale – and some even keen bargain-hunters even started queuing the day before.

Over 10,000 items, including uniforms, suits, shirts, doublets, shoes, jewellery, hats and more, were up for sale with prices starting at £1.

The garments, mainly made by the world-renowned RSC Costume Workshop, and were part of a clear-out by the RSC Costume Hire – which hires out costumes once productions have ended – to free up space to make room for new costumes available to hire.

Items in the sale came from RSC productions stretching back over the past 20 years, and among the items on offer were uniform coats from the acclaimed 2008 production of Hamlet, which featured David Tennant in the title role.

The RSC has the largest in-house costume-making department of any British theatre, employing 30 award-winning craftspeople. The RSC is planning a major revamp of its Costume Workshop, housed in an assortment of buildings on Waterside opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and money raised from the sale will go towards helping funding this.

RSC Head of Costume Alistair McArthur said: “The Costume Jumble Sale proved incredibly popular.

“Such is its draw that the first people started queueing at 5pm the night before, and it attracted visitors from as far away as Sweden.

“It was a busy day, but I am delighted those who came now have costumes that they can either use in their own productions, or keep as a piece of theatre history.

“All profits from the sale will go towards Stitch In Time, the pubic fundraising campaign to help redevelop of our costume workshops.”

Visit www.rsc.org.uk/stitch-in-time for further details.

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