Ellen Terry's ballet shoes
Ellen Terry (1847-1928) – who came to be known as the ‘Queen of the Theatre’ – performed on stage from a young age. At the age of 16 she played Titania in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream; these white satin ballet shoes may have been part of her original costume. For Terry, dance was integral to the craft of an actor. In 1913 she published one of the first books on the Ballets Russes – the itinerant and hugely influential Russian ballet company led by Sergei Diaghilev. Interestingly, it was around this time that critics began discerning the influence of the Ballets Russes in contemporary Shakespearean productions.
Pair of white satin ballet shoes worn on the stage by Ellen Terry as a child, probably in the part of 'Titania'.
Marks and inscriptions
V.E.E.-W.W.-I. / 38 / EARL'S COURT. (printed on label on sole of NT/SMA/TC/4a)