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UNTOLD HISTORY OF BLACK & ASIAN SHAKESPEARE

UNTOLD HISTORY OF BLACK & ASIAN SHAKESPEARE
THURSDAY 30TH APRIL 2015

The history of colour-blind or non-traditional casting is a subject seldom explored, but the exhibition ‘To Tell My Story’, curated by Professor Tony Howard and currently touring the UK with Tara Arts' production of Macbeth, celebrates the ongoing journey of multicultural Shakespeare.



Little do we realise that the Shakespeare performance community has casted multi-cultural performers from as early as the 1800s. One of the most central actors Ira Aldridge an African-American who made his home in England is best known for taking Europe by storm during the mid-1800s, playing Richard III and Shylock.

Professor Howard’s exhibition displays a ray of Black and Asian actors and actresses who revolutionised Shakespeare talent and performance. The exhibition showcases the likes of Paul Robeson, Peggy Ashcroft, who displayed their talents in renowned theatres such as the Old Vic.



In the 1960s more black actors appeared at the Old Vic and RSC in classical roles, followed in 1968 by Asian actors, but casting in the 1970s was often tokenistic.

Yvonne Brewster, OBE director and founder of Talawa Theatre Company is one of the most significant names in black theatre. Well known globally, she was the initial drive for black theatre when she shaped the idea back home in Jamaica. Yvonne Brewster says -“We invest in talent, build audiences and inspire dialogue with and within communities across Britain, by doing so we enrich British cultural life.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS STORY VISIT:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5hT2r69c9KFl1xk0h0C69SL/colour-blind-casting-the-untold-history-of-black-and-asian-shakespeare

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