Letter: Black actor could play Othello

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Sir: The 400-year-old tradition of disguising a white actor for the role of Othello stemmed from the fact that black people were not given the same rights as white people ("Can it be wrong to `black up' for Othello?", 7 August). A black person would not have been able to play the role due to his position in society and, in later years, due to a prejudiced theatre and film industry.

As David Lister notes "Equity has a disproportionate number of unemployed black actors on its books". If he requires a "powerful argument" against a white actor taking on the role, he should look to the many black actors who could play the part, but are being denied the opportunity.


Wallington, Surrey