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English lecturer to tell the history of Black and Asian Shakespearean theatre at acclaimed photography exhibition

BBA ShakespeareWarwick University’s Professor Tony Howard is discussing the history of Black and Asian Shakespearean theatre in Britain and introducing the exhibition ‘Tell my story’ which celebrates Black performers’ crucial but undervalued contribution to our understanding of Shakespeare - the greatest cultural symbol of ‘Britishness’.

Taking place at the Belgrade’s B2 theatre on Wednesday 28 October, this free acclaimed photographic exhibition which has toured the country, will highlight the work of Paul Robeson, Cleo Laine, Adrian Lester, Hugh Quarshie, Josette Simon, Akala and many, many others.

Professor Tony Howard will tell the extraordinary story of where it all began: In 1828, at the height of the fight to abolish slavery, the great African American actor Ira Aldridge became the manager of the Coventry Theatre.

Professor Tony Howard lecturer in comparative literary studies at Warwick University said,

“This exhibition celebrates the achievements of black and Asian performers, bringing Shakespeare alive in thrilling new ways.

Today Lenny Henry, the Act for Change movement, and so many others are campaigning for more diversity on stage and screen, and more power for black and Asian behind the scenes. So it's amazing to realise that nearly two hundred years ago, in the age of slavery, Coventry welcomed a great black actor - Ira Aldridge - who ran its theatre for a season and scored a long- forgotten triumph.

The Coventry Theatre was demolished long ago. But Ira Aldridge's achievements are a living inspiration for BME artists today.”

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Claire Agar on:

Alex Buxton
Communications Manager
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166