Daphne Dare

Last updated 09 January 2020

Daphne Dare

Born: Monday 1st July 1929
Died: Wednesday 27th September 2000 (age: 71)


Costume Designer who worked on 126 episodes of early Doctor Who making her the most prolific costume designer on the programme.

The Ohio State University Libraries' Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute includes costume and scene designs from more than fifty productions by Daphne Dare. 

Dare designed for major theatres on both sides of the Atlantic as well as for television and film. Throughout her career, she had a part in over sixty productions, serving in such roles as art director, costume designer, production designer, and set designer. Dare designed at the Bristol Old Vic from 1958 until 1963. 

She worked as a costume designer for BBC TV from 1964-1968, designing the first two years of costumes and monsters for Doctor. Who. In 1967-1968 she became the Head of Design at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter. In the early 1970s Dare worked with Robin Phillips on a number of acclaimed productions including Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1970) with a young Patrick Stewart, Abelard and Heloise (Wyndham's, 1970) with Diana Rigg, Dear Antoine (Chichester and Piccadilly, 1971), and Miss Julie (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1971). 1973 was a very productive year for Daphne Dare and Robin Phillips with a season at Greenwich, a company including Jeremy Brett, Mia Farrow, Elisabeth Bergner, Penelope Keith, and Lynn Redgrave, in productions such as The House of Bernarda Alba, Three Sisters, Born Yesterday, Cats Play, and Zorba. In 1975, Dare became the Head of Design at the Stratford Festival, Ontario, under artistic director Robin Phillips. She designed over thirty-five productions, and was responsible, along with Phillips, for the renovation of the stages and auditoriums for the Avon and Third Stages, while also instituting a "Designer in training" program for young Canadian designers. In 1989, Daphne Dare designed Dion Boucicault's London Assurance (at Chichester and Theatre Royal Haymarket), with the director Sam Mendez. During the 1990s Dare focused primarily on film, working frequently with Ken Loach, including on his film Carla's Song (1996).