To celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare this slideshow presents a selection of portraits of actors in roles from Shakespeare’s plays, taken from the Photographs Collection.
Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) as Shylock in 'The Merchant of Venice’
by Edward Lyddell Sawyer, 1879, Ax7706
Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as Imogen in 'Cymbeline'
by William Henry Grove , 1896, Ax131322
Cavendish Morton (1874-1939) as King Lear
by Cavendish Morton, 1900s, x128825
Lily Brayton (1876-1953) as Katherine in 'The Taming of the Shrew'
by Rita Martin,
Christine Silver (Mrs Roland Sturgis) as Titania in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
by Bassano Ltd, 1913, x102649
Peggy Ashcroft (1907-1991) as Juliet in 'Romeo and Juliet'
by Howard Coster, 1935, x10330
Sir Michael Redgrave (1908-1985) as Orlando in 'As You Like It'
by Angus McBean, 1936, x45112
Laurence Olivier (1907-1989) as Hamlet and Jean Simmons (1929-2010) as Ophelia in 'Hamlet'
by unknown photographer, 1948, x137987
Claire Bloom (b.1931) as Lady Anne in 'Richard III'
by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd, February 1955, x184245
Ben Whishaw (b.1980) as Hamlet
by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda, 2004, x126968