Delve into famous Leeds theatre’s archive for ‘next level’ Halloween fancy dress

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Fancy dress revellers are taking Halloween outfits to a whole new level by delving into the costume department at a famous Leeds theatre.

Decades of handcrafted costumes from the archive at West Yorkshire Playhouse, in Quarry Hill, Leeds, are being offered for hire to people wanting to stand out from the crowd this Halloween.

Hannah Stockton and Sally Stone try out some of West Yorkshire Playhouse's costumes. Picture by James Hardisty.

Hannah Stockton and Sally Stone try out some of West Yorkshire Playhouse's costumes. Picture by James Hardisty.

Everything from stage worn period costumes from the productions of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ to gruesome rabbits from ‘Of Mice and Men’ and gory jumpsuits from ‘Doctor Faustus’ are among the professional outfits available.

The theatre’s costume store, which is in nearby St Peter’s Square, is a treasure trove of around 15,000 items collected and created over several decades of performance dating back to the old Leeds Playhouse.

Sally Stone, costume hire manager, said: “Dracula and the bride of Dracula are the more popular ones.

“It’s taking fancy dress to the next level. To walk into fancy dress shops to buy things in packets, you know you’re going to get to a party and find three people wearing the same costume.

Outfits at West Yorkshire Playhouse's costume hire department. Picture by James Hardisty.

Outfits at West Yorkshire Playhouse's costume hire department. Picture by James Hardisty.

“People who come here will certainly be the most uniquely dressed there.”

She said extra staff have been put on by the costume hire department in a bid to meet demand over the next two weeks, with visitors to Whitby Goth Weekend and Halloween fancy dress parties expected in their droves.

The theatre’s vast array of outfits are also let out to amateur dramatics groups, and for film, TV and photography as well as to educational groups.

The one-of-a-kind costumes cost a minimum of around £35 to hire for seven days. Email sally.stone@wyp.org.uk or call 0113 2137242 for information.

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