Trousers worn by David Tennant, Ian McKellen’s floor length coat, doublet and hose worn by Judi Dench and Susannah York’s dress – all feature in eBay auction
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will auction 54 costume items to raise money for the Company’s Stitch In Time campaign, to support the restoration and redevelopment of its Costume Workshop. The online auction will take place over Shakespeare’s Birthday for a 10-day period between Tuesday 17 and Friday 27 April. The auction will go live at 8pm on Tuesday 17 and end at 8pm on Friday 27.
Costumes worn by actors including Simon Callow, Sinead Cusack, Judi Dench, Anita Dobson, Jane Lapotaire, Ian McKellen, Antony Sher, Patrick Stewart, David Tennant and Susannah York, will feature in the auction (see partial listing of auction items at the end of the release). The auction includes items which date back to productions in the 1970s, including:
- Simon Russell Beale’s waistcoat from Restoration (1988)
- David Tennant’s black dress trousers from Hamlet (2008)
- Anita Dobson’s grey blazer from The Merry Wives of Windsor (2012)
- Susannah Yorke’s cream dress from Camino Royal (1997)
- Patrick Stewart’s black trousers from The Merchant of Venice (2011)
- Judi Dench’s doublet and hose from Shakespeare Live! From The RSC (2016)
All costumes will be listed on eBay with costume measurements and a certificate of authenticity.
The RSC, a registered charity, makes thousands of costume items each year in its Stratford-upon-Avon based Costume Workshop. Once a production ends, most costumes are placed into the Company’s Costume Store and are available to hire. Some key items go into in the RSC’s Museum Collection and appear in exhibitions in the RSC’s theatres and around the world.
Stitch In Time is a £3m fundraising campaign and there is £1.8m left to raise towards the cost of restoring and redeveloping the Costume Workshop. Thousands of people from around the world have already supported the project including contributions from major philanthropists, trusts and foundations and businesses. The redevelopment will:
- Create improved facilities for costume making
- Care for the RSC’s heritage Grade II listed buildings, including the 1887 Scene Dock, which will become a new entrance to the RSC’s offices
- Create more space to enable new training and apprenticeship opportunities to secure the future of costume making in Stratford-upon-Avon
- Allow visitors to experience the Company’s world-class costume workshop for the first time through tours and online
David Tennant, RSC Board member and Associate Artist said,
“I have had the pleasure of wearing many costumes at the RSC, created in their workshop in Stratford-upon-Avon. I always think of the very first costume I had when I went there, which was Touchstone in As You Like It. I had this extraordinary, calf-length coat in the jesters’ motley. It was beautifully put together, and the amount of work that had gone into it took my breath away. The attention to detail, the sheer craftsmanship that is engrained in each costume impressed me then and continues to impress me at the company today.”
All bids for the auction need to be entered by the bidder independently via eBay. The RSC cannot facilitate bids for any individual.