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Symposium July 2nd 2013

'Mapping British Black and Asian Shakespeare from 1930 to 2012'


Tracy Ifeachor and Natalie Dew. As You Like It, Curve Theatre Leicester 2009.


A one-day international symposium

held on

Tuesday 2nd July 2013

Millburn House, University of Warwick


The speakers included:

Iqbal Khan (director, RSC Much Ado About Nothing)
Debra Ann Byrd (Harlem Shakespeare Festival)
Akala (Hip-Hop Shakespeare)
Stephen Bourne, Suman Bhuchar
Burt Caesar,Colin Chambers
Linda Goddard, Mel Larsen
Ann Ogbomo, Michael Pearce,
Terri Power, Daniel York
Naseem Kahn

In 1930 Paul Robeson brought revolutionary perspectives on Othello to the Savoy Theatre in London.

Since then, UK stages have hosted an extraordinary range of Shakespearean productions that have increasingly reflected the growing diversity of British society - from all-Black and Asian-set interpretations to Hip-Hop Shakespeare workshops for young people from all communities.

This one-day international symposium brings together leading academics, actors, directors and cultural activists to reflect on these Shakespearean interventions - with a particular focus on the last few decades of cultural exploration, and on the situation in UK theatres today.

Who were the pioneers? What were their tactics? What were the obstacles?


bbas colour logo



This history has been inseparable from shifting conceptsof national, local and personal identity.

How should this scattered history best be gathered and shared?
And what might Shakespeare's place be now in multicultural Britain?

The symposium explored these and other questions from the
perspectives of both practitioners and critics, from the UK and from abroad.