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British and American Shakespearean actors ask who owns the Bard on his birthday

Leading British and American actors and directors from television and cinema will travel to the University of Warwick for a unique celebration of the Bard’s birthday.

A series of discussions and film screenings will take place at Warwick Arts Centre from 23 April until 30 April, including the European premiere of the film H4, based on Henry IV, and a special preview of forthcoming film Romeo and Juliet in Harlem.

On 29 April, Peep Show actor Paterson Joseph and former Holby City actress Rakie Ayola will join American actors Jasmine Carmichael and Amad Jackson for a special discussion called ‘Who Owns Shakespeare’. They will be joined by Aleta Chappelle (Director of Romeo and Juliet in Harlem) Michael Buffong (Artistic Director Talawa Theatre Company – currently touring Arthur Miller’s All My Sons) and Jatinder Verma (Artistic Director Tara Arts – currently touring Macbeth).

Chaired by Professor Tony Howard, from the University of Warwick’s Multicultural Shakespeare 1930-2014 project, the talk will consider whether we need a multicultural Shakespeare and what lessons black and Asian artists working on Shakespeare have to share.

The discussion builds on and brings into focus controversial issues concerning diversity, representation and access to the arts raised by the Act For Change project and the report of the Warwick Commission Report on Cultural Value.

Other films shown in this unique Shakespeare season include the RSC’s Julius Caesar (starring Paterson Joseph) and Haider - the Hamlet story set controversially in war-torn Kashmir (introduced by Queen Mary/Warwick Global Shakespeare Fellow, Dr Preti Taneja).

Highlights also include digital screenings of Maxine Peake’s Hamlet (for which Tony Howard was an advisor), and the Broadway Romeo and Juliet with Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom.

Notes to Editors

For more information and interview requests, please contact Tony Howard at or 07956 530075

Warwick Arts Centre Box Office: 024 7652 4524


Multicultural Shakespeare 1930-2014

The University of Warwick’s Multicultural Shakespeare in Britain 1930-2010 project, led by Professor Tony Howard, seeks to document and promote the work of black and Asian Shakespearean actors in the UK and British-born performers' work abroad. It aims to map the history of non-white actors' and directors' growing role in British cultural life over several generations - by examining their involvement in the performance and re-interpretation of Shakespeare's plays. The project is supported by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). British Black and Asian Shakespeare (BBA Shakespeare) stands at the symbolic heart of British culture.

24th April 2015


For more information and interview requests, please contact Tony Howard at or Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Senior Press and Communications Manager, University of Warwick,, 02476 150868, 07824 540863

Warwick Arts Centre Box Office: 024 7652 4524

Shakespeare Week 2015