First black Othello at RSC since Robeson

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The Independent Online
THE ROYAL Shakespeare Company actor Ray Fearon is to become the first black actor to play Othello on the RSC's main stage in Stratford- upon-Avon since the American actor and singer Paul Robeson in 1959.

The play has not been performed at all in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre since 1985, as the company has not been prepared to have a white actor "black-up".

The black opera singer Willard White played the part at the RSC's studio auditorium in 1989.

Fearon will play opposite Zoe Waites. The pair recently played Romeo and Juliet for the company. The production, opening next week, will be the first play directed on Stratford's main stage by the RSC principal associate director Michael Attenborough.