About the Visual Shakespeare Project

I am interested in narrative painting and am currently exploring the works of the playwright, William Shakespeare, who needs no introduction. I have created a project called The Visual Shakespeare Project which is intended to promote Shakespeare's work and my interpretation of it, via the visual arts. Additionally, I provide financial support for small Shakespeare theatre companies, by selling these paintings and prints.

Our Paris Exhibition

The project has proven to be a great success, thanks to the inclusion of some wonderful and talented actors. The first of these was the Parisian actor/director Rodolphe Fonty from The Theatre du Nord-Ouest in Paris, who has become a dear friend and permanent collaborator in this Project. He is pictured on this webpage. Rodolphe and his actor friends have appeared in these paintings and Rodolphe curated an exhibition of these paintings in Paris. You can view a discussion of two paintings from the theatre event, which opened the exhibition, here:
Henry VIII and Macbeth

Alternatively: download a catalogue of the paintings

Another successful actor is the New York actor/director/film-maker Chelsea LeSage. Like Rodolphe, she is a very versatile actor. Her acting ranges from Shakespeare to the horror/thriller genre. She and her actor friends dressed and posed for a painting based on the play Much Ado About Nothing. I look forward to working with her in future paintings based on the play, Henry VI, when she will pose as Joan of Arc. Chelsea is also pictured on this page.

Another group of actors are based in York and are part of the York Shakespeare Project. Many have expressed an interest in appearing in one of these paintings and I will contact them in due course.

In each case the theatre companies that my actor friends belong to will, or have, benefited form the sales of the paintings that I have created for this Project.

Each painting captures a significant moment in a specific play, and all around are related objects, places and people that give clues to what is happening at other points in that play. I describe my paintings as a theatrical performance that is captured for the viewer to enjoy whenever they gaze upon the artwork. As such, I have left room for me to reinterpret the plays, so as to allow me to express my reaction to events. I want people to be able to return to the painting again and again and discover more of its iconography and symbolism. I would be delighted if you kept an eye out for upcoming paintings which will be added to this gallery.

Shakespeare in Words and Pictures: University of York, 18th April 2024

On 18th April we had the great honour of holding a Shakespeare themed event at the University of York, one of the top Russell Group Universities in the UK. Over 220 tickets were acquired. We staged a 2 hour event, during which I drew the participating actors, live. This was projected on a large screen, and the audience loved this. Rodolphe Fonty gave a fascinating and informed talk on Shakespeare's responses to painting. Actors joined in to provide illustrative examples of Rodolphe’s observations and I read sonnet no. 24. Chelsea LeSage from New York visited us and took part in our event, which was delightful. We had the honour of having Tina Packer, and her son Jason Asprey, in our audience too.

During the interval the audience had the opportunity to view an exhibition of all the Shakespeare inspired paintings. After the interval the audience were treated to 4 short cameo performances in front of 4 of the paintings, which Rodolphe directed and performed in. The event ended with a musical finale, sung by Rodolphe and the cast.

This project tries to help early and mid-career actors gain exposure, and to network. We are always open to working with other people when possible, so please do get in touch. If you wish us to perform for you, we would be delighted to discuss this.

Cast list, Alphabetically: Nick Clark, Christopher Commander, Rodolphe Fonty, Evie Gallagher, Freya Leadbetter, Chelsea LeSage, Erin Martin & Iain Will.

Link: back to the Shakespeare paintings
Me Rudi and Joanna

Me, Rodolphe and Joanna at The Theatre du Nord Ouest, Paris

Me and George

Me and a very generous patron of the theatre


The talentant New York actor and film maker, Chelsea LeSage

Chelsea and cast

Chelsea and the cast of Much Ado About Nothing at the Stag and Lion Theatre, New York

Chelsea LeSage and her painting

Chelsea receiving her portrait from Iain

Iain and his paintings

Iain and part of his University of York Exhibition