Costumes from shows including Follies and War Horse are to be displayed as part of a new exhibition at the National Theatre.
The free exhibition will be dedicated to the work of the NT’s 46-strong costume team, and promises to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into its process.
It will explore each stage of the production process, from design and construction, to sourcing, alterations, repairs and laundering, featuring costumes from notable NT productions such as War Horse and Dominic Cooke’s 2017 staging of Follies.
It has been curated by Aoife Monks, who said: “Costume is one of the first things we see on stage, telling us immediately about the world of the show we are about to watch. Despite this we often overlook it, thinking more about the character wearing their fictional clothes than the actor in their costume.
“However, even the most ordinary costumes take extraordinary amounts of work. Drawing on interviews with NT staff, this exhibition reveals the skill, thought and time that costume requires. You will never overlook it in the same way again.”
Along with designer Tom Paris, Monks worked with the theatre’s costume team to put together the exhibition, and consulted with costume designers including Vicki Mortimer, whose Follies creations can be seen in the collection, and Katrina Lindsay, who worked on the recent adaptation of Small Island in the Olivier.
The exhibition runs from October 3 to March 2020 in the NT’s Wolfson Gallery.
A book will be published and a series of talks and events will take place alongside the exhibition.