Birmingham Royal Ballet – 25 years of classic costumes

Iconic department store puts spotlight on anniversary.

This year, Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrate their 25 years in the city. During this time the company have presented more than 130 different ballets over 225 weeks of performances. A production such as Swan Lake requires around 500 costumes, 145 headdresses and 60 tutus alone, which is why it is no surprise that production staff keep just under 10,000 costumes at their storage space in Dudley.

For the first time ever, Birmingham Royal Ballet have teamed up with the city’s most illustrious department store, House of Fraser to display a few highlights from the company’s extensive catalogue of costumes from their 25 year residency in the city.

This intimate exhibition is created to give members of the public a rare up-close experience of the beautiful and intricate designs seen on stage and what it takes to bring them to life from initial sketches to the finished product.

Over the years Birmingham Royal Ballet have worked with some of the biggest names in theatrical design, art and fashion to create unforgettable costumes including Jasper Conran OBE, Olivier Award winning John Macfarlane, Philip Prowse, Tony Award winning Katrina Lindsay and prop-costume maker Robert Allsopp who has worked on Doctor Who and Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men, Gladiator and Robin Hood.

Elaine Garlick, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Head of Costume said; “This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to display to the public the time, effort and craftsmanship that goes into each and every costume that we put on stage. The skilled teams that we have worked with over the years are World leaders in costume making, printing and dying and it’s fantastic that a major department store like House of Fraser have been so enthusiastic in helping us to display these beautiful designs in a way that audiences very rarely see.”

Birmingham Royal Ballet: 25 Years of Costume runs at House of Fraser Birmingham for two weeks only from 28th September-11th October and admission is free.