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RSC costume drama with a difference

If you've ever fancied prancing about in a doublet and hose, now's your chance.

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford is holding a costume drama with a difference - a huge jumble sale to sell off stage garments that are no longer needed.

It's on September 23 between 9am and 5pm - although we suspect 9am will be a better time if you really do fancy a doublet, military uniform, suit of armour, a fine lady-in-waiting's gown, or a fancy hat or two.

Alistair McArthur, head of costume at the vast RSC workshops, can't promise a pair of slippers worn by David Tennant when he played Hamlet (pictured above) - but somebody did pick up a pair at a previous sale with the actor's name written inside.

Alistair said: "Costumes are an essential part of any production and people are often surprised to learn that we create the vast majority of them ourselves in our costume workshops.

"Most pieces are labelled with the name of the actor who originally wore them, so who knows that little gems people might pick up?"

Some garments go on display in the Swan Theatre but the majority worn in a production go into the hire department once the run of a play is over. Surplus ones are regularly sold to eager theatre fans or amateur dramatic groups.

It will cost £3 to view the sale of some 10,000 items in one of the old rehearsal rooms in Arden Street, Stratford.

All money raised will go towards the latest project to restore and redevelop the RSC's stitching and dyeing workshops along Waterside.

The good news is that some of the smaller items only cost £1.

Photo: Ellie Kurttz, RSC.