LETTER: Why shouldn't a woman play Richard II?

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I WAS stunned to learn that Andrew Temple finds the idea of Fiona Shaw playing Richard II bizarre and depressing ("To play the king (and be a woman)", 21 May).

Ms Shaw is one of the most exciting and innovative actresses of our age. The convention of male actors playing women has been long accepted and has occasionally transcended the piping parody of popular imagination. Why, then, should an undeniably great actress not produce a vibrant and exciting Richard II?

I have purchased tickets for Richard II and like many others look forward to it with pleasure. I would be happy to give my artistic impressions of the performance after I have seen the play but not, unlike Mr Temple, before the play has opened.

Jenny Fosdal

Twickenham, Middlesex