Shakespeare by Design


Shakespeare by Design will facilitate access to some of Stratford-upon-Avon’s finest collections by shining a spotlight on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s costume collections and revealing the unique stories behind them.


Costume is often the first and most enduring impression an audience member will have of a play. Costumes and accessories worn by actors on stage often accentuate aspects of a character or the mood of the play and therefore can provide a fascinating insight into how theatrical performances have changed over time. Costumes are consistently popular and are a good way to engage new audiences with the museum collection. This is evidenced by visitor numbers and feedback to previous exhibitions held at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust which, for example, helped deliver 13% growth in visits to Hall’s Croft in 2011.

Shakespeare by Design will enable us to comprehensively review, research and contextualise the costumes worn on the stage by linking them to material held by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the Royal Shakespeare Company archive.

The Shakespeare by Design project has been funded by Arts Council England through the Designation Development Fund.