DEMOLITION work has begun on the restoration and redevelopment of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Costume Workshop.
The Grade II listed building, which was originally a scene dock door for The Memorial Theatre, is set to re-open in summer 2020, and has the largest in-house costume-making department of any British theatre.
Alongside its own armoury, the workshop includes many specialist skills and crafts including men’s and ladies’ costume-making, millinery, dyeing and printing. The team will continue to produce costumes during the project, having relocated to a temporary space across town for the duration of the works.
Once re-opened visitors will be able to experience the RSC’s world-class Costume Workshop for themselves through tours, interactive experiences, education, participation and outreach opportunities.
Alistair McArthur, RSC head of costume, said: “The workshops have been our home in Stratford since the 1950s where we have crafted thousands of bespoke costumes for our world-famous productions – so it was with a real sense of nostalgia that we watched work begin.
“But the buildings were in desperate need of repair, and the restoration and redevelopment of our Costume Workshop is essential in providing us with the best facilities for costume-making fit for the 21st century, made in Shakespeare’s hometown and shared around the world.”