A van containing 12 bags of costumes for Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre’s upcoming production of Gypsy has been stolen, leaving the wardrobe department “devastated”.
The theft of the white Mercedes van, which has a registration of DE62 JLV, was stolen from Kirkway in Manchester between midnight and 7am on October 17.
As well as 12 bags of costumes – including 1930s and 1940s wool coats, dresses, blouses, skirts, kimonos and silk dressing gowns – the van also contained old cinema chairs.
The theatre’s head of wardrobe Nicola Meredith said: “We are devastated. These bags of clothes may not look like much to the people who have taken the van but they are unique items which have taken years to collect.
“Not only are they an important part of our costume store but my team has spent months researching and selecting the correct dresses, coats and so on for our production of Gypsy.”
She added: “Each one has many memories and many of the pieces of clothing will have been handmade by our team here – they really are irreplaceable.”
Simon Curtis, the theatre’s head of production, added: “We’re hopeful that these items will turn up and we are appealing to anyone who might have seen the van or have seen the chequered laundry bags to get in touch with the police.
“The financial value of these items is negligible but for us they are very precious costumes that we would love to get back.”