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Theatre costume - Tabard worn by Ian McKellen as Richard II
  • Tabard worn by Ian McKellen as Richard II
    Goodchild, Tim
  • Enlarge image

Tabard worn by Ian McKellen as Richard II

  • Object:

    Theatre costume

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1968 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Goodchild, Tim (costume designers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brocade, net, felt, raffia, imitation leather, lamé, glass, metal, gold paint and polythene

  • Museum number:

    S.853-1981

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Court tabard worn by Ian McKellen as Richard II, Prospect Theatre Company, 1968,

This costume was made for Prospect Theatre Company’s 1968 production of Richard II starring 29-year-old Ian McKellen as the King. Its five week tour was such a success that a second tour, starting at the Edinburgh Festival, was followed by a sell-out London run. It went on to tour Europe and was filmed by the BBC in 1970, establishing McKellen as a leading actor. Prospect was a small company with a limited funds. The set for Richard II was basic, and designer Tim Goodchild spent most of his minuscule budget on costume. The golden tabard for King Richard is typically late 1960s in design and making. Based on medieval heraldry, it looks suitably historical but is actually made up of a collage of modern materials. The basic fabric is furnishing brocade highlighted with gold paint. The heraldic lions sit amid a riot of gold mesh, glass ‘jewels’, gold raffia, felt and fake leather. Coins and even metal beer-bottle tops enhance the richness. The gold lamé lining had to be partially covered with clear polythene to protect it as it dragged across the stage. Reviews pronounced the production an ‘uncontested triumph’.

Physical description

Brocade tabard, the floor-length front panel decorated with three heraldic lions, the back panel forming a train decorated all over with a diamond pattern. Appliqued with gold mesh, glass 'jewels', gold raffia, felt and imitation leather, coins and bottle tops, highlighted with gold paint. Lined with gold lamé, the lining of the train protected by a sheet of polythene.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1968 (made)

Artist/maker

Goodchild, Tim (costume designers)

Materials and Techniques

Brocade, net, felt, raffia, imitation leather, lamé, glass, metal, gold paint and polythene

Descriptive line

Court tabard worn by Ian McKellen as Richard II, Prospect Theatre Company, 1968, designed by Tim Goodchild

Materials

Brocade; Machine made net; Felt; Raffia; Imitation leather; Lamé; Glass; Metal; Gold paint; Polythene

Techniques

Sewing; Glueing

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre; Theatre costume

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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