Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre has been known to open up its magical wardrobe doors on a handful of occasions – but a new service means it’s now fully accessible to the public.
Following demand, the theatre has launched a costume hire service to share its 10,000-plus garments that are usually stored away under lock and key.
With the guidance and expertise of experienced staff, schools, theatre groups, universities and community projects can get their hands on costumes worn by some of the many famous thespians who have tread the Crucible’s boards to wear in their very own productions. The impressive closet can kit out both professional and amateur actors with garments covering an array of historical periods and genres, some of which have been adorned by well-known actors.
Kate Vale, who works for the costume hire service, said: “We’ve had enquires about costume hire for a while, so it’s great to finally be able to open up our wardrobe doors to local actors and professionals.
“As well as schools and theatre groups, we’ve had calls from film production companies, photographers and stylists who are keen to rifle through our rails. Every so often we have wardrobe sales to clear some of our costumes, but it barely touches the sides as our talented wardrobe team is continuously hand-making and/or buying in garments for upcoming productions.
“It’s a shame to see all their beautiful work stuck in the closet, so it’s great this new service gives so many people the opportunity to benefit from our team’s skill, while also generating income for the theatre in the process.”
The Aladdin’s cave of costumes, which features both adult and children’s clothing, includes period attire from popular Crucible productions including Oliver, Othello and My Fair Lady, along with more contemporary items from shows such as Boeing Boeing and Betrayal.
There are also World War One solider outfits, animal costumes and flamboyant frocks, plus vintage gear spanning from the 1920s to the 1990s.
To complete the look, bucket loads of accessories are available, from scarfs, hats and shoes to gloves, hankies and aprons.
Kate said: “There isn’t much we can’t cater for,” said Kate.
“We don’t have panto costumes as such and we aren’t offering a fancy dress service, but for the majority of acting groups and professionals we can hopefully find something that suits.
“Some of my favourites include gorgeous dresses from My Fair Lady, a fabulous lion costume, a spirit skirt made entirely of feathers and bizarre garments from Alice in Wonderland, including a newspaper print suit.”
The costume hire service is being sponsored by Sheffield-based GRI Group and will operate on an appointment only system. For details, contact 0114 201 3720, or email CostumeHire@sheffieldtheatres.co.uk