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NTU to make costumes fit for a queen with Nottingham Castle

Our Costume Design and Making students are embarking on an exciting new project in partnership with Nottingham Castle to create costumes to be used onsite when it reopens in early 2021.

Costume design students

The costumes will be inspired by both the historical context of the characters that lived in the Castle and by Nottingham today. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of designs influenced by the likes of Isabella of France who lived in Nottingham Castle in the 1330s, as well as many other interesting historic figures.

To launch the project, around 70 students from all years of the course attended a guest talk from Gareth Morgan, Nottingham Castle’s Learning Development Officer, where he laid out the three exciting projects that the students will be involved in.

From designing Robin Hood inspired dressing-up resources, to creating the costume for the Castle’s historic guides – both of which will be based upon significant people who either lived, worked or tried to blow up the heritage site in the past. There is plenty of opportunity for our students to get creative whilst tapping into Nottingham’s rich history.

The winning designs will be selected at a “Dragons’ Den” style event in June 2020 with a whole host of judges from Nottingham Castle, NTU and Nottingham Playhouse. The successful students will win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive mentoring and placements working with the three organisations.

Sara Blair-Manning, CEO of Nottingham Castle Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the School of Art & Design from NTU. The skill and creativity of their students will dream up the most amazing ideas and approaches to our costumes for the Castle whilst also allowing us to invest in early-career designers and makers right here in Nottingham.”

Sharon Bainbridge, Senior Lecturer of the BA (Hons) Costume Design* course, explained: “Working so closely with the Castle as it prepares for its reopening in 2021, to prepare costumes that will be seen by hundreds and thousands of visitors, is a unique opportunity for our students. The brief allows for inventive creativity and will allow our students to test their design and construction skills in a real world scenario.”

Nottingham Castle is an NTU Strategic Partner – they work closely together to connect students and staff with projects and opportunities.

This project will be a great opportunity to see important organisations within Nottingham collaborating and getting back to Nottingham’s creative maker routes. You can keep up-to-date with the project via

*From September 2020, BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making will be called BA (Hons) Design for Stage and Screen (Costume Design and Construction).

NTU to make costumes fit for a queen with Nottingham Castle

Published on 28 January 2020
  • Category: Culture; Current students; Press office; School of Art & Design

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