Oct 20, 2017 | By Jessica Harman
Jun 29, 2016
By WGSN Insider
Selfridges is opening a commercial pop-up theatre in its London flagship department store as part of the celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
Calling it a fusion of fashion and drama, the event debuts on July 4 with the 100-seat theatre, a world-first for a department store, the retailer claims, opening between August 23-September 24 – the longest-running creative project yet for the retailer – with a contemporary production of Much Ado About Nothing.
The event will also see a series of collaborations with designers, musicians and other UK drama groups.
The main venture is in co-operation with UK theatre company The Faction to create The reFASHIONed Theatre, at heart of the store.
The ‘Ultra-Lounge’ theatre space comes complete with box office and royal box, and will also allow patrons to go behind the scenes and watch rehearsals in the run up to opening night.
The opening play will include a strong tech element with some of the stars of the play projected onto mannequins on-stage using hologram technology.
The Faction will also revisit some of their previous productions at various locations across the store, including a ‘FlashBard’, which will feature 20 actors.
The campaign also sees Selfridges collaborating with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada). Musicians will also be playing in the store throughout the event.
Shakespeare reFASHIONed also includes a major visual merchandising push with store windows featuring Shakespeare play-inspired limited edition designer collaborations. In-store there will be more than 100 further limited edition brand collaborations.
— Selfridges (@Selfridges) June 27, 2016
The window displays will include one-offs from Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela, Marques’ Almeida, Dries Van Noten, Erdem, Craig Green, Givenchy, JW Anderson, Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens, Simone Rocha and others.
The windows will launch in two phases (Act I and Act II) with the first inspired by the Bard’s romances and comedies and the second by the tragedies.
In-store, brands also taking part include Van Cleef & Arpels, Shrimps, Paige Denim, Hudson Jeans and Olympia Le Tan.
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