On theatre

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Lloyd Notice is one of the few black actors at the RSC. 'When I started, there were just three of us.' Since then, more plays have entered the repertoire and the company now employs about 10. . .out of a total of 171 actors.

'It's not exactly an issue. As in any workplace you get the odd joke. Inferred racism like 'oh, you should be able to dance', that kind of thing. You get used to it. The best way to fight it is by the quality of your work.'

Colour-blind casting (black Hamlet and white Gertrude) as opposed to racially specific (an all-black Capulet family) is not unheard of in the major companies, but it is rare. 'We need more. If you tell the story well it doesn't matter. People aren't stupid. You don't need to patronise an audience by colour coding.'

Initially cast in Moby Dick, he was then cast as the Boy in The Country Wife. 'It was literally four lines and consisted of opening and closing doors for people. I felt, especially with the emergence of the BNP at that time, that I shouldn't be playing that part. So I asked if I could do be a walk-on understudy instead. There was a lot of hoo-hah about it, but they listened and finally agreed.' Before leaving in October, Notice (below) is doing Woza Albert at the RSC Fringe Festival. 'I chose to leave. I want to do other things for a while. But people here have been very encouraging, especially Cicely Berry and John Barton. I'd love to come back.'

'Moby Dick' is in rep at the RSC, Barbican Centre, EC2 (071-638 8891)