RSC theatre history on sale in Stratford on Saturday

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The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is offering the public a rare chance to own theatre history on Saturday as thousands of costumes go on sale.

More than 15,000 items have been made available as the theatre company makes room to store other costumes.

Items for sale at its rehearsal rooms in Stratford-upon-Avon include costumes that first made their debut on stage back in the 1970s and 80s.

Soldiers' tabards and chain-mail from the RSC's 1984 production of Henry V with Kenneth Branagh, a light blue 18th Century waistcoat worn by Charles Dance in As You Like It and numerous items worn by David Tennant will be available from 1000 GMT.

Alistair McArthur, head of costume at the RSC, said: "We need the room and we really want the public to have the chance to own pieces.

'Labour of love'

"The sale will include costumes designed by top theatre designers like Deirdre Clancy and our own Olivier Award winning Tom Piper.

"With many items starting at just £3, we hope that people will take the opportunity to come along and purchase a piece of theatre history."

The public can choose from more than 1,000 pairs of shoes, 500 shirts, 300 hats, Egyptian head-dresses, a variety of military uniforms and jewellery.

Chrissie Pegg, from Script to Screen Costume Hire, said she admired the quality of the costumes.

"The workmanship, the love and the labour that has gone into this is just amazing," she said.

"It would be almost impossible to replicate."

The sale is at the RSC workshops on the outskirts Stratford where about 40,000 costumes are stored.

The RSC said the last costume sale was held in 2007.

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