Letter: The power of a black Othello

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The Independent Online
Sir: David Lister's article "Can it be wrong to `black up' for Othello" (7 August) brought to mind a performance I have never forgotten.

I was quite young when I saw Paul Robeson play Othello with Peggy Ashcroft, in her early stardom, as Desdemona. As a frequent visitor to the Old Vic, I had experienced various "old greats" - John Gielgud (as Romeo), Sybil Thorndike, Ralph Richardson, Alastair Sim - but Paul Robeson in Othello exuded enormous emotional power, notably in the scene where he fell to the ground in a paroxysm of jealousy, his huge voice almost gone, yet even his whisper audible throughout the theatre.


Horsham, West Sussex