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Costume design - Hugh Stevenson design
  • Hugh Stevenson design
    Stevenson, Hugh, born 1910 - died 1956
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Hugh Stevenson design

  • Object:

    Costume design

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (drawn)

  • Date:

    1950 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Stevenson, Hugh, born 1910 - died 1956 (costume designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil and gouache on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Cyril W Beaumont Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Costume design by Hugh Stevenson for Romeo (played by Jonathan Meddings), showing full length male figure in clear blue doublet, with high collar lined in brown pink, and scalloped lower edge, and trunk hose; on either chest of the doublet is a large dark red oval surrounded by white decorative lines indicating slashing. On the puffed sleeves are dark red and pink bands separated by white lines, indicating bands and slashing; the fitted lower sleeves are secorated with lines forming lozenges each enclosing a white dash simulating slashing. The doublet is open down the front revealing a white shirt. The trunk hose is banded like the sleeves. The tights are red brown and the shoes clear blue with white dashes indicating slashing. Around the waist is a sword belt, the hilt of the sword is visible at the right hip. Surrounding the design are pencil sketches showing costume details. The design is inscribed with the name of the role, the actor and fabric details.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (drawn)


1950 (painted)


Stevenson, Hugh, born 1910 - died 1956 (costume designer)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil and gouache on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Romeo. / (Jonathan Meddings.)'
Textual information; Upper right hand corner; Handwriting; Pencil

'pale blue / lining to collar'
Textual information; Upper left hand side; Handwriting; Pencil


Height: 558 mm, Width: 380 mm

Object history note

This is one of 25 designs by Hugh Stevenson for a programme of excerpts from Shakespeare devised for a British Council tour in the early 1950s. It was performed by a small company led by Walter Fitzgerald and called for costumes that would clearly indicate the different characters while allowing for quick changes. This Stevenson achieved by creating a basic costume in the Elizabethan style for each actor to which were added robes, tunics, overdresses or accessories.
The designs are part of the collection that came to the Museum from the dance historian and publisher Cyril Beaumont and may originally have formed part of the London Archives of the Dance.

Historical significance: A group of designs showing how a designer solves the problem of creating costumes for a programme of extracts from various Shakespeare plays (which means allowing for quick changes), by creating several basic costumes which can be adapted, or to which accessories can be added, to indicate specific characters

Descriptive line

Costume design by Hugh Stevenson for Romeo in Romeo and Juliet in a programme of scenes from Shakespeare, British Council tour, early 1950s


Pencil; Gouache; Paper


Drawing (image-making); Painting

Subjects depicted



Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre; Designs

Production Type



Theatre and Performance Collection

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