A MAJOR exhibition, showing costumes worn by a range of top Hollywood stars, will go on display at a venue in York this weekend.

York’s Barley Hall will provide a unique setting for the new displays, which will feature costumes worn by Hollywood actors such as Al Pacino and Kate Winslet on stage and screen and give visitors a chance to perform some of the great plays on stage themselves.

The exhibition looks at how England’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, represented the past in his plays. Presented around the three great themes of Shakespeare’s works – history, tragedy and comedy – the exhibition will also explore how York has continued to reconstruct and revisit its past through drama.

The exhibitions team behind The Bard at Barley Hall has looked into the ways in which modern versions of Shakespeare’s plays have tackled similar themes, sourcing costumes worn by Michael Fassbender in the 2015 film version of Macbeth, Al Pacino in 2004’s Merchant of Venice and Kate Winslet’s Ophelia costume from Hamlet.

Dr Chris Tuckley, head of interpretation and learning for The JORVIK Group, which runs Barley Hall, said: “We’ve added a host of interactive elements to the exhibition that will appeal to visitors of all ages, not least our many visiting school groups.

“We’ve incorporated a shadow puppet theatre where visitors can recreate iconic scenes from Hamlet and Macbeth - and we have costumes available for children and adults to create the perfect Shakespearean Selfie.”

The final part of the exhibition looks at how historical drama, including Shakespeare’s histories, has been presented in York, with costumes from York Theatre Royal and some surprising items found beneath seats during the recent refurbishment of the theatre. It also looks at how Barley Hall influenced the construction of one of the most iconic Shakespearean buildings of our time, Shakespeare’s Globe.

Director of attractions for The JORVIK Group, Sarah Maltby, said: “Traditional building techniques were used during the restoration of Barley Hall which helped us better understand the processes of creating this kind of medieval building.

“The team behind the reconstruction of Barley Hall’s timber frame was commissioned to do the same for the Globe, largely on the strength of what had been achieved at York.”

To mark the opening this weekend of The Bard At Barley Hall, visitors will be serenaded as they arrive in the courtyard outside the hall by medieval musicians, Caliban’s Dream. Historic re-enactment troop Ting Tang will also be hosting demonstrations of the art of stage sword fighting – a common occurrence in many of Shakespeare’s plays.

The weekend also sees the opening of Barley Hall Coffee Shop in the adjacent building, including al fresco tables in the courtyard. The venue is open daily from 10am to 4pm.