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What do 1200 productions of Shakespeare reveal about diversity in classical theatre?

Hamlet at Kourion Amphitheatre, CyprusDr Jami Rogers, Research Assistant and Honorary Fellow at the University of Warwick, presents the findings of an ongoing project that examines Shakespearean performance from 1930 to 2010.

Dr Rogers will be giving a tour of the British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance database and what its contents reveals about the history of Shakespearean performance.

This unique new research documents nearly 1200 productions of Shakespeare since 1930. The increasing participation of minority ethnic performers in classical theatre will be celebrated in this lecture as will some of the ground breaking performances uncovered by this research.

Dr Jami Rogers, Research Assistant and Honorary Fellow at the University of Warwick, says,

"The British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database is a fantastic resource for a wide audience, celebrating inclusive classical productions. Students, teachers and academics will find it a rich resource for this little understood facet of theatre history. The database also tracks casting patterns and will provide a basis for understanding how cultural stereotypes have sometimes inhibited parity in classical theatre for the same performers the Multicultural Shakespeare project celebrates."

The talk will answer questions such as,

  • Who were the predecessors of Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati as the first black Othello/Iago pairing at the RSC?
  • What was the first production to have all-black fairies in its A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
  • Which minority ethnic actresses have played Cleopatra?

The event takes place on 8 December at 6pm, in the Modern Record Centre, University of Warwick.

Spaces are limited, to register for this free event visit:

Members of the public, staff and students are all welcome.

The project

Multicultural Shakespeare: 1930-2010 is a major AHRC-funded research project which 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. British Black and Asian Shakespeare (BBA Shakespeare) stands at the symbolic heart of British culture.

Alex Buxton
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Tel: 02476 150423
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