Tag Archives: Othello

Two American Shakespeareans: James Hackett, father and son

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre contains a little memorial that has always interested me. Just by the fountain at the base of the spiral staircase is a plaque dedicated to The American actor James K Hackett, 1869-1926, “a generous benefactor to … Continue reading

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“Far more fair than black”: Cleopatra, Othello and blacks in Renaissance England

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s new production of Antony and Cleopatra will, for the first time in its history, feature a black actress, Joaquina Kalukango, as Cleopatra. It’s a co-production between the RSC, the Public Theatre, New York and Gablestage, Miami, … Continue reading

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Colorblind casting in Shakespeare: are we nearly there yet?

I’ve just been enjoying Dr Jami Rogers’ new article The Shakespearean Glass Ceiling: the State of Colorblind Casting in Contemporary British Theatre, which appears in Shakespeare Bulletin Vol 31 no 3, pp 405-430. As well as providing a fascinating analysis … Continue reading

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Shakespeare, the BAFTAs, and screening theatre

On Sunday May 12 the award ceremony for the UK’s TV industry, the BAFTAs, is being held. Shakespeare interest is focused on The Hollow Crown, the four-part mini-series which screened during the summer of 2012. The series isn’t badly represented: Ben … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the case for subsidy

I’ve only been away for a few days, but on return have found many Shakespeare-related stories to catch up on. There have been two major press nights, Othello at the National Theatre, As You Like It at the RSC. These … Continue reading

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Othello, Iago and the search for character

The National Theatre’s new production of Othello is beginning its previews this week. Starring Adrian Lester as Othello, the Henry V from a few years ago, and Rory Kinnear as Iago, who has recently played Hamlet, both at the National, … Continue reading

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Black History Month: telling the story of Ira Aldridge, the African Roscius

Until only a few years ago the nineteenth-century actor Ira Aldridge was a little-known curiosity in the long history of the theatre. He was the first (probably the only) “gentleman of colour” of any note to appear on the English … Continue reading

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Black History month: communities and visitors in Tudor England

October is Black History month, and this year’s focus on Shakespeare has included a number of discussions of the presence of non-white people in England in the early modern period. Historian Michael Wood’s piece suggests there was a black community in London, … Continue reading

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Ira Aldridge, Shakespearean actor and gentleman of colour

The black actor Ira Aldridge is now recognised as one of the most remarkable interpreters of Shakespeare’s leading roles. He first appeared on the London stage as Othello in 1825, and remained associated with the role for the rest of his … Continue reading

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Paul Robeson, Othello and Mixed Britannia

The BBC has just begun a mixed race season, examining how over the past 100 years Britain has come to be a country in which inter-racial partnerships are commonplace. The first documentary in the series Mixed Britannia looked at the … Continue reading

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