David Tennant's Hamlet Costume Added To New RSC Exhibition



The iconic 'muscles' t-shirt worn by David Tennant during the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2008 production of Hamlet is the latest addition to the new interactive exhibition, The Play's The Thing. 

The major new family attraction, The Play's The Thing, opening later this month, will be located in the Swan Wing of the RSC's theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon, marking the culmination of the restoration of the oldest part of the building, which dates from 1879. The Play's The Thing will be the RSC's first ever permanent exhibition devoted to the staging of Shakespeare’s plays.

Just one of several versions of the shirt will feature in the display. RSC costume painter Charlotte Hobbs explained via their Facebook page: "We printed around 10 t-shirts for this production. The darker one is the 'prototype'. All of them were faded eventually at the designers request."



Many famous faces have performed at the RSC and besides David the exhibition includes costumes worn by Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Laurence Olivier, Paul Robeson and Vivien Leigh. The immersive exhibition also highlights some of the RSC’s most iconic theatre productions with treasures from the archive, including rarely-seen props, exquisite costumes and original set designs. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved too, with a magic costume mirror for visitors to try on virtual costumes, the Quick Change Challenge, changing a costume against the clock with Velcro, buttons and magnets, or the chance to stand on the RSC stage through state of the art technology.  Visitors will also be able to explore how set design, lighting, sound, special effects and music all help to create the world on stage.

Also on display will be the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare, on loan for a limited time from the National Portrait Gallery, and a rare first folio of Shakespeare’s plays dating from 1623.

The Play’s The Thing opens on Saturday 22 October 2016, daily from 10am at The Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Tickets cost £8.50. Children aged 5-17 are half price when purchased with a full priced adult admission and under 5s go free. For groups and schools admissions, please contact the RSC Box Office.




The refurbishment of the Swan Wing and the staging of The Play’s The Thing have been partly funded by a £2.8 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Photos courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company.


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