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Robeson - Project Films and Podcasts

What newly-released MI5 archives reveal about American actor Sam Wanamaker

11:20, Mon 9 Nov 2009

From 1950 to 1958, Paul Robeson was unable to travel and perform abroad. His passport was withdrawn by the State Department, claiming it would be 'against US interests' were Robeson to speak abroad.

Meanwhile another American radical, the actor-director Sam Wanamaker - creator of the rebuilt Globe Theatre -was based in England, one of many artists who quit the US in protest against McCarthyism. Washington tried to persuade London that he represented a serious security risk, and during the 'fifities he was often under surveillance .

Robeson and Wanamaker had been allies in the 1940s. In 1959 they finally appeared together on the Stratford stage, as Othello and Iago.

In Autumn 2009 Sam Wanamaker's security files in Britain's National Archive were released. Tony Howard (Warwick University) discusses the story of paranoia and commitment told by these phonetaps, intercepted letters, and secret memos.

(MP3 format, 19:44, 18 MB

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I have done the state some service: Othello, Robeson and the FBI

11:19, Mon 9 Nov 2009

Part of a series of talks to accompany the production of Othello by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Warwick Arts Centre

(MP4 format, 61:40, 131 MB

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Speak of me as I am: Inside Othello

10:26, Mon 9 Nov 2009

Part of a series of talks to accompany the production of Othello by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Warwick Arts Centre.

(MP4 format, 55:50, 132 MB

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Is Obama and Othello for our times?

10:24, Mon 9 Nov 2009

Part of a series of talks to accompany the production of Othello by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Warwick Arts Centre

(MP4 format, 52:59, 132 MB

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The Robeson exhibition

10:22, Mon 9 Nov 2009

Professor Tony Howard introduces the Robeson exhibition.

(MP4 format, 9:17, 141 MB

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Waiting for Robeson

14:16, Fri 6 Nov 2009

In 1958, actor and singer was announced to be coming from America to play Gower in a production of Pericles in Stratford. Teenager Chris Penney was eagerly anticipating his arrival and Waiting for Robeson is taken from the diary she wrote which records the original announcement, her disappointment when the US government took away Robeson's passport, forbidding him to travel, and his subsequent performance as Othello in Stratford the following year.

Chris - Thomasin Bailey
Original music composed and played by Jenni Mellor
Silent Night played by Ben Osborn
Directed by Jon Pashley

(MP3 format, 31:22, 29 MB

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Paul Robeson