Sheffield Crucible and Lyceum Costumes Go Up For Hire
Costumes worn by Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi and Joanna Lumley have gone on hire in Sheffield

BBC News, 8 October 2014       See a detail from Kenneth Branagh's jacket from the 2002 production of 'Richard III' - complete with an exposed backbone

The Crucible and Lyceum's 10,000-garment wardrobe is being made available for use by amateur and professional theatre companies.

Schools, universities, film companies, photographers and stylists will also be able to rent the costumes, but individuals will not.

The venture is to generate revenue for the Sheffield Theatres charity. Sheffield Theatres said the hiring cost depends on the costume and the length of time it will be used for.

In the collection, which is held backstage at the Crucible, is a jacket worn by Kenneth Branagh in the Crucible's 2002 production of 'The Tempest', and a gown worn by Joanna Lumley in the 2007 production of the 1890s comedy 'The Cherry Orchard'.

The wardrobe also has a large collection of children's costumes, including the Artful Dodger's outfit worn by Jack Armstrong and Travis Caddy in 'Oliver' (2013).

A vast array of historical periods and genres are represented in the collection, which has been largely handmade by Sheffield Theatres' wardrobe team ever since the Crucible opened in 1971.

Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres said: "We have a rich resource of fantastic, high quality costumes here in our costume store, from all eras."

Sheffield Theatres said the costume hire service was made possible by a Sheffield business, GRI. Graham Royle, chief executive of GRI, said: "'As a charity, it is vital that Sheffield Theatres protects its future sustainability and I believe this initiative will be one of the ways in which they can do so."

Wardrobe assistant Lauren Martin, a seamstress and former milliner for Philip Treacy, said the collection was made "priceless" by the people who had worn them. "The actors bring the costumes to life," Ms Martin said. "The actors are not the character until they're in the costume. It's a living archive."

The National Theatre in London and Manchester Royal Exchange also run costume hire services.

The Crucible opened in 1971, and was refurbished in 2010. The Lyceum is now undergoing refurbishment.

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