Royal Shakespeare Company holding MASSIVE jumble sale!

On Saturday 23rd September, the Royal Shakespeare Company are selling off a spine jarring 10,000 items of costume from some of their most famous shows.

Shakespeare Company history

Hugh Quarshie in Othello
Photo by Keith Pattison (c) RSC

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s origins go back to the Victorian era. In 1875 the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre company was created with the actual theatre opening four years later. On the 50th anniversary year, the company received a Royal Charter. A year later the auditorium and stage were destroyed by fire. The Chairman at the time – Sir Archibald Flower – managed to raise the funds to have it rebuilt. In 1932 the New Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opened. It had been designed by Elisabeth Scott.

62 years later in 1996, the company looked to redevelop the Stratford site. After considerable review, five years later itr was decided that the site had to be demolished and built from scratch. Ten years after that decision was made, The Queen opened the newly developed Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Since then the company have entertained us with popular plays such as The Two Noble KinsmenCymbeline, Othello and Julius Caesar. These are all plays that will have their costumes sold off in the Jumble Sale. Along with many other plays from the past 20 years. Including the 2008 Hamlet which saw Dr Who star David Tennant in the lead role. Items for sale will include uniforms, armour, suits, shirts, doublets, shoes, jewellery, necklaces, bracelets and millinery. An image from Othello is above, though bear in mind not all the costumes from the plays will be available.

Alistair McArthur, RSC Head of Costume, said: “Costumes are an essential part of any production here at the RSC. People are often surprised to learn that we create the vast majority of them ourselves in our costume workshops. I am very proud of the talented team that makes the costumes: all of their skills, and the diverse range of costumes they make, will be reflected in the items in this Costume Jumble Sale. At one of our previous sales someone found a pair of slippers worn by David Tennant when he played Hamlet here. Most pieces are labelled with the name of the actor who originally wore them, so who knows what little gems people might pick up?”

Thousands of items are for sale
Image by Lucy Barriball (c) RSC

What to do?

There’s no appointment necessary, simply turn up on the day. Prices for costumes will start at £1 and cash, debit or credit card. It’s £3 entry on the door and that is cash only, please. Parking is available nearby at the Straford District Council pay & display car park on Arden Street.

The Company’s costume workshop is in need of renovation and the jumble sale will help fund the redevelopment.

Saturday 23 September
9am – 5pm
RSC Rehearsal Rooms, Corner of Arden Street and Birmingham Road. Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6NT
Entry £3 per person (cash only)

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