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'Richard 2nd, Act I, Scene I'; Charles Kean (1811-68) as Richard II
7.3 x 6.0 cm (whole object)
The Royal Collection
Photograph of a full length portrait of actor Charles Kean (1811-68) in costume as Richard II in Act 1, Scene 1. Kean is seated on a throne, facing the camera front on. He wears a crown, dark colour, patterned robe and fur lined cloak and holds a sceptre. He is seated in front of a striped banner, featuring Richard II's coat of arms.
This photograph documents Kean's production of Richard II by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), with Kean in the title role. The production was shown at Princess's Theatre, London, where Kean presented many adaptations of Shakespeare's plays. The plays were distinguished for their elaborate scenery and attention to detail that included historically authentic costumes and music. Queen Victoria saw Kean's production of Richard II five times (Royal Archives reference VIC/MAIN/Z/115).