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Stolen costumes from Central School of Ballet recovered

Cinderella, being performed by Ballet Central during its tour at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford. Photo: Bill Cooper

Costumes that were stolen from Central School of Ballet’s graduate company have been returned following a major media campaign.

More than 100 handmade costumes, thought to be worth a total of £25,000, were stored in a van that was stolen from the company’s secure London premises on May 8.

Third year students, who were halfway through a tour of England and Wales when the van was taken, launched an appeal to find the costumes [1] and raise money to replace other items in the van, which included lighting, sound and rehearsal equipment.

Last night (May 14), a member of the public found the costumes in an open garage in Bromley-by-Bow in London, close to where the tour vehicle was last tracked, and called Ballet Central to report the news.

With support from the police, the costumes were recovered and have been returned to Ballet Central. Neither the tour vehicle nor any of the technical and production items have been found.

Money raised through the Just Giving page [2], currently more than £11,500, will be used to replace the remaining stolen items.

Future performances will go ahead as planned.

Central School of Ballet director Heidi Hall and artistic director Christopher Marney said: “We are delighted that our costumes have been found following our appeal to Londoners.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness from all those that have offered to help our young people at Central.”

They added: “Although all the technical equipment, including lights and dance floor, and the van are still missing, we are working hard to be ready for our three sell-out Ballet Central performances in Bath this weekend. The show will go on.”