Bafta award-winning costume designer opens museum and theatre for young people

A Bafta award-winning costume designer has opened a museum and theatre to teach local young people about the arts.

John Bright’s decades-spanning career has seen him make costumes for films such as Pirates Of The Caribbean and The King’s Speech and TV shows like The Crown and Downtown Abbey.

He has now launched the Bright Foundation, a philanthropic effort based in Hastings, East Sussex, featuring a toy museum and theatre.

Mr Bright bought the former barn eight years ago and Thursday’s launch has been attended and supported by celebrities including Jim Broadbent and Jeremy Irons.

A view of toys collected by John Bright
A view of toys collected by John Bright (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The foundation will invite children from local schools to workshops and events in the hope they will learn there is more to life than exams, encouraging “soft education”.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Mr Bright said: “What I hope they will take away is understanding that there’s more to life than just going to school and coming home.

“I want to widen their horizons so they can enjoy some of the possibilities I had as a child.

“I had a rather Victorian dad but he was very, very giving in what I could do.

“I built a puppet theatre in our conservatory and used our dining room as a workshop.

“I was lucky they would allow me to do that, so I thought it would be nice to share some of that with people.”

The first workshops are set to begin on June 27, with nine sessions planned.