VISITORS to a county attraction can see a range of famous costumes up close – including one that caused quite a stir across the world.
Starting this Saturday, several of Belsay Hall’s ground floor rooms will play host to a collection of garments, titled ‘Costumes from Austen’, which stem from a variety of Jane Austen film and television productions.
They include the white shirt worn by Colin Firth in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice when he stepped out of a lake in what has become an iconic scene.
To celebrate the opening of the display, English Heritage is bringing together both the genteel and graceful side of Regency society on Saturday and Sunday with an event entitled ‘Regency Revival’.
Arbeau dancers will perform regency dance on the front lawn, while a pair of gentlemen demonstrate the honour-bound perilous act of duelling.
The etiquette and techniques of the famous sword masters will also be demonstrated during the event.
Jon Hogan, events manager for English Heritage in the north, said: “Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the world of Pride and Prejudice and see the shirt worn by Colin Firth.
“Other famous costumes include the dress worn by Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma and Emma Thompson’s costume from Sense and Sensibility.
“After the launch weekend, we have a whole host of events throughout the summer to mark the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice and to celebrate Jane Austen. For example, we bring back Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice in our fabulous outdoor theatre productions.
“There really is something for everyone this summer at Belsay and what a beautiful setting it makes to celebrate the Regency era.”
Other garments on display include a full skirted purple dress worn by Dame Judi Dench in the Pride and Prejudice film from 2005, Alan Rickman’s bright red military attire from the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility, a wedding dress worn by Kate Winslet in the same movie and Billie Piper’s grey riding habit from an ITV version of Mansfield Park in 2007.
Costumes from Austen runs until August 26. For more information about the collection and admission prices, telephone 01661 881636 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/Belsay