Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter's King's Speech outfits in Hamlet to Hollywood in York

By Laura Burgess | 02 June 2011
Outfits from the King's Speech
Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth's outfits from The King's Speech© Barley Hall, York
Exhibition: From Hamlet to Hollywood: Fashion from Film, Barley Hall, York, until May 2012

Costumes worn by Hollywood actors Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech star in this glamorous display at the Barley Hall, featuring items from the rails of stage and cinema stars from Tudor times to the 20th century.

Visitors can see the outfits, worn by both Firth and Bonham Carter in the pre-World War II drama, as well as clothing demonstrating style periods across 460 years.

Mr Darcy’s riding coat, worn by Firth in Pride and Prejudice, a 1940s style red velvet dress donned by Maggie Smith in Downtown Abbey, an 1811 lilac ball gown worn by Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility and the jewel-encrusted stage dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Young Toscanini are also on show.

Other actors to have donned the exhibits include Dame Judi Dench, Kiera Knightley, Nicole Kidman and the late Heath Ledger. Cranford, Lark Rise to Candleford and The House of Eliott are among the productions visited.

Sarah Maltby, the Director of Attractions at York Archaeological Trust, says it represents a "picture of ancestors".

“It’s a real privilege to bring this collection together and demonstrate the fascinating changes in fashion," she adds.

"Where else would you be able to brush against Mr Darcy's lapel or compare dress sizes with Hollywood’s leading ladies?”

  • Admission £3-£4.95 (family ticket £13.50-£15), includes re-admission for a year. Visit the visitor page for opening times.
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