The Royal Shakespeare Company have made over 3,000 images from 200 productions available to the public for free. You can view and download them here, but we've delved into the archive to bring you a glimpse of the photos now available at your fingertips.
One of the earliest shots is this one from the 1936 production of The Merchant of Venice
This is the court scene from Ben Iden Payne's production.
Henry V leads his troops into battle in 1937
Ben Iden Payne directed Clement McCallin as the titular character.
John Gielgud as Cassius in 1950
This production of Julius Caesar was directed by Anthony Quayle and Michael Langham.
Laurence Olivier in John Gielgud's production of Twelfth Night
Olivier played Malvolio in Gielgud's 1955 production.
Peggy Ashcroft as Rosalind (disguised as Ganymede) in As You Like It
Glen Byam Shaw's production ran in Stratford in 1957.
Laurence Olivier stars in Peter Brook's Coriolanus
Peter Woodthorpe, Robert Hardy and Harry Andrews appear in this shot of the market place from 1959.
Peter Brook's A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1970
Can you spot Ben Kingsley's Demetrius dangling in the background?
Judi Dench as Beatrice in John Barton's Much Ado About Nothing
Benedick was played by Donald Sinden in the 1976 show.
Ben Kingsley as Othello in 1985
Kingsley wore traditional Moorish costume in Terry Hands' production.
Fiona Shaw and Brian Cox in Jonathan Miller's The Taming of the Shrew
The pair played Katherina and Petruchio in the 1988 production at the Barbican.
Mark Rylance's Hamlet approaches Peter Wight's Claudius in 1989
Wight is currently playing Polonius in Robert Icke's production of Hamlet at the Harold Pinter.
Simon Russell Beale as Ariel in 1993
Sam Mendes directed this 1993 production of The Tempest.
A young David Tennant as Romeo
Alexandra Gilbreath was Tennant's Juliet in Michael Boyd's 2000 production.
Hannah Barrie spits at Jonathan Slinger in Richard III
Michael Boyd's 2000 production features Barrie as Lady Anne and Slinger as Richard.
The Ninagawa Company's Titus Andronicus run in 2006pe
Yukio Ninagawa's production was described as "murderous mayhem", but the director steered clear of using stage blood
Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter share a moment in Antony and Cleopatra
The pair starred in Gregory Doran's production in 2006.
Sylvester McCoy, Ian McKellen and Ben Meyjes in 2007
McKellen played the titular character in Trevor Nunn's King Lear.
- David Tennant
- Royal Shakespeare Company
- Judi Dench
- Harold Pinter
- Simon Russell Beale
- Trevor Nunn
- Jonathan Slinger
- Laurence Olivier
- Ian McKellen
- Fiona Shaw
- John Gielgud
- Brian Cox
- Ben Kingsley
- Hannah Barrie
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