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Thurrock Tours

Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop and Costume Centre Tours

Discover the fascinating world of the scenic artists and craftspeople who create the stunning sets and scenery for the world-famous Royal Opera House on the tour of the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop and Costume Centre.

thurrock tours

High above the surrounding rooftops, the enormous, purpose-built workshop is home to scenic painters, carpenters and metalworkers. Here they make the designers' visions into reality, creating the many different sets that appear in the ballets and operas performed on the stages of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Set in the High House Production Park in Purfleet, amid beautifully landscaped gardens, the Production Workshop is a fascinating and inspiring place to discover the skills behind theatre set construction and design.

The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre will be the new home to more than 20,000 costumes from the current Royal Opera House repertory, as well as housing the Royal Opera House Costume Collection of approximately 6300 items of costumes and accessories, ranging from tutus and grand opera costumes to body suits, animal outfits, opera and ballet shoes, jewellery, tiaras, helmets, to wigs and beards. Costumes of all sizes large and small, and made of all materials. It is one of the largest theatrical costume collections and it continues to grow as old productions are retired and we are able to select key costumes for preservation.

Salome exhibition

There is currently an added extra to be enjoyed on Thurrock tours as Royal Opera House Collections has unveiled a new exhibition about Richard Strauss’s sensual opera Salome at the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre. Through historic costumes and archives, it traces the design and interpretations of Salome at the Royal Opera House over the last 100 years.

Salome premiered in Dresden in 1905. The story follows Salome's intense, and ultimately deadly, infatuation with John the Baptist. Originally banned in the UK due to its biblical content, plot alterations saw it first staged at the Royal Opera House on 8 December 1910.

Since then, the opera has inspired designers to create six unique productions for Covent Garden. From Salvador Dalí’s much criticised and short-lived production in 1949, Andrzej Majewski’s sumptuous costumes in 1970, up to Es Devlin’s Art Deco inspired design from 2008. This exhibition provides the opportunity to see archival material from the Royal Opera House Collections showcasing five different productions.

You can check availability and book your Thurrock tour online. If you have any other queries, please ring the Box Office on +44 (0)20 7304 4000

Tour costs

  • £8.00 Adult
  • £7.50 Seniors/unwaged/students
  • £7.50 Children under 16.
  • £7.00 All tickets for groups of 10 or more

Dates and times

Please meet at the Coachman’s Café prior to your tour.

Tours take place on Fridays at 11.00, 13.30 and 15.00. Tours are bookable between now and July 2017 either online or by phoning the box office on: 020 7304 4000.

The Tour will last a maximum of 1 hour 15 mins. Twenty people max per tour.

Coachman’s Café

The Coachman’s Café is under the ownership of Grand Events and is serving up lunches, snacks and drinks.  If you are a large group of 10 or more people and require refreshments before or after your tour, please telephone the café on 01708 892639 to give them notice.


High House Production Park, Vellacott Close (off London Road), Purfleet RM19 1AF

See map of High House Production Park

Note: Please do not rely solely on your sat nav to help you arrive, as the postcode alone can be unreliable on some sat navs.  It is recommended that you print out the map and the directions to bring with you for reference.

By Train:

Purfleet Railway Station is the nearest stop to the Production Park. It is located on the C2C Line, with trains leaving regularly from London Fenchurch Street and Southend Central Train Station. The High House Production Park is a 15-minute walk. Turn left out of the station and walk straight up the London Road, the High House is the large cream house on the left-hand side.

By Car:

Take the M25 and leave the motorway at Junction 31. Then join the A1090 (Stone House Lane) towards Purfleet railway station. At the roundabout with Purfleet Bypass, continue on the A1090 (London Road) for about 300 yards until you see signposts for the High House site which is on your right.

If you are travelling by car from London on the A13, take the A1306 towards Purfleet and at the Stonehouse roundabout turn right onto the A1090. At the roundabout with Purfleet Bypass, continue on the A1090 (London Road) for about 300 yards until you see signposts for the High House site which is on your right.