Costume and Props Hire
Our Costume and Props Hire department offers thousands of beautifully crafted costumes, furniture props and armour from past National Theatre productions.
The majority of our collection is made in the National’s renowned workshops, ensuring each piece is unique and of the highest quality.
We are committed to making theatre sustainably, and the Hire Department plays an important role towards achieving this.
Huge quantities of costumes and props are recycled into the new National productions every year. Additionally, the collection is available to hire by schools and external organisations, thus extending its life even further.
By appointment only
Monday – Thursday 9.30am – 4.30pm
Monday – Thursday 9.30am – 5.30pm
Who can hire
We offer our services to:
- Theatre (including amateur dramatics)
- Education (secondary & higher education)
- Film & TV
- Editorial & Styling
Unfortunately, we no longer offer a private hire service to individuals for fancy dress
Our hire fees are very competitive, and we offer a sliding scale for longer hires and educational discounts.
What to expect
Address and Access
Costume Hire address
National Theatre Costume Hire
Kennington Park Business Estate
1-3 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DE
Props Hire address
National Theatre Props Hire
Kennington Park Business Centre
103 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DE
The Costume and Prop Hire department is located on ground floor level. If you have any specific access requirements please contact us in advance.
Travel and Parking
- Underground: Oval (Northern line, 2 minute walk)
- Overground: Vauxhall (15 minute walk)
- Buses: 3, 36, 59, 133, 155, 159, 185, 196, 333, 436, 417 stop nearby
- Car Park: Free customer parking – on arrival please ask staff for a parking form to avoid a PCN
Our facility & your experience
Whether hiring for a school play, West End production or feature film, our friendly and knowledgeable team are always on hand to welcome you and offer help and advice.
Stock is arranged by period, with the men’s and ladies costumes separated for easy selection.
We offer on-site fitting facilities (please book in advance), or customers can arrange to take costumes away to fit.
Costumes may be reserved for up to four weeks, or you can take away with you on the day.
Quality & Range
The collection is constantly being added to as shows end their run at the National and the costumes and props make their way to the Hire department, so no matter how frequently you hire, there is always something new to be discovered. All costumes are:
- Created in our workshops by our highly skilled staff whose attention to detail and historical knowledge ensures that everything is produced to the highest quality
- The costumes are well maintained and cover most periods from Ancient (Greek, Egyptian and Roman), through to contemporary. We also have an amazing array of Fantasy and Theatrical costumes, and a much-loved broken-down section.
- With over 100,000 items in our collection we offer a unique catalogue of costumes that are at your disposal.
Our facility & your experience
Explore the fascinating world of our props and furniture department. Situated just across the courtyard from the Costume Hire Department, it comprises of three large warehouse rooms full of props and furniture, ranging from beautiful period pieces to the weird and wonderful, such as severed heads, stuffed animals, fake food and restraining chairs.
Quality & Range
The vast majority of the collection has been used to bring productions to life on the National’s stages.
Our highly-skilled makers are experts at creating fantastical props that are not quite what they seem. Expert paint techniques and clever tricks of the trade make that tempting plate of chocolate éclairs look far tastier than it actually is!
The small Props Hire team are always available for friendly and professional advice during your visit.
What our customers say:
For me, the value of the hire department is very layered: firstly, of course, the scale, quality and range of the collection at the NT offers great benefits to the economic and environmental-sustainability of a production. But, more than that, I really enjoy drawing on the collection as part of the creative process – using what is on the rail to start building character, idiom and the aesthetic approach. There is an improvisational quality to searching the collection – surprise ingredients offer themselves and send the design in unforeseen directions. I am hugely grateful to be able to draw from so many pieces of extraordinary work by fellow designers – it’s almost like the best possible vintage marketplace as every garment has already told a story – (if not many stories) – the collection is full of humanity and history. Working with the hire department helps me progress the design of a show with an invaluable fluency and lightness of touch.
Vicki Mortimer Theatre Designer (Olivier Award 2008/18)
I love using the National Theatre costume house as a starting point for many projects; the variety of eras, costumes & unique pieces continues to inspire me. It is one of London’s best kept secrets for both authentic & theatrical costumes at very competetive prices”
Recent projects I have used NT costumes on: Levis advert 2023; Coca Cola advert 2023; Fairplay feature film 2023
Kate Forbes Costume Designer & Stylist
The National Theatre costume hire is a resource I have used for over twenty-five years! Most of my projects tend to have elements of ‘strange’ and I know I can rely on their stock to fit the bill! Their costumiers have a great sensibility for the ‘hurry up’ and last-minute nature of television costume and are more than willing to assist. I love what they do and missed them greatly during the covid shutdown.
June Nevin, Costume Designer. The Windsors; the Darling Buds of May; Entitled; Inside No.9; Fresh Meat; The Mighty Boosh; Shooting Stars; Randall and Hopkirk deceased
The National Theatre Hire Department has been an invaluable source for over 10 years of my involvement with them, as the Stage Manager at Westminster School. Having such a large and exhaustive resource in one place, takes out all the extra hassle of trying to collate items from various hire companies. We have been able to book sessions and take students over for fittings. This is an exciting experience and an eye open for them, to see the professional side of the industry. Not only does the Costume and Props Department offer large variety of items, but the Staff also complement this with exceptional service, providing advice or alternative sources.
Imamul Ameen Stage Manager Westminster School
I chose National Theatre Hire Department because I know that the quality and choice of costumes is unparalleled. As a director it’s so helpful to spend time in the store looking through the incredible range of options available and the fact that they are all within arm’s reach means it’s a really efficient use of time. With the school’s discount it is also really affordable which is really important with the current financial climate.
Michael Glen Head of Drama, The Harrodian School.