Violet Vanbrugh

(1867-1942) Violet Vanbrugh began her long, illustrious stage career in 1886. She first played Shakespeare in 1888 as Ophelia, Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Rosalind, and Portia (The Merchant of Venice), a part she repeated in 1905; that same year she played Portia by Royal Command of King Edward V at Windsor Castle. After a brief tour in America, she returned to England in 1892 to join Sir Henry Irving‘s company where she played Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII. The nextRead more

Janet Achurch

(1864-1916) Janet Achurch, born into a theatrical family in 1864, made her professional debut in 1883 and the next year in 1884 joined the company of Frank Benson. There she of course had opportunity to play many Shakespeare roles, including Desdemona, Gertrude, and Lady Macbeth. It was over a decade later that she again played Shakespeare as Cleopatra in 1897 at the Queen’s Theatre, Manchester. In 1898 she played Lady Macbeth at the same theater. Her last role in ShakespeareRead more