[Music plays] So race and gender in 2018. I mean what can I say? It’s kicking off! In the Shakespeare & Race festival the main questions that we want to ask are about uh Shakespeare’s representation of race in his plays. So I keep thinking about Shakespeare’s cause and his transformative impact on the world. Does he have an impact on the world or is it a particular demographic of the world? You can’t be what you can’t see. So I didn’t come from a family that had really ever gone to the theatre like it wasn’t a huge sort of priority for anyone where I’m from. We want to think about how actors and directors and creatives now are addressing those issues of race. In the production we have a range of people from different ethnic backgrounds and that is the world in which we live. And I’m very committed to that in terms of casting because I think…to me that that’s an original practice in a way because Shakespeare’s audience in a sense came to see themselves reflected onstage. I think it would be really great to sort of do for someone what I think theatre did for me, as someone who would never ordinarily
encounter it. There’s a really clear instruction I suppose in Hamlet where he says: “We have to hold a mirror up to nature…” So what is that nature? What is the mirror we are holding up? Uh and we know that that’s not just middle-class people. There’s a whole world out there that do have a relationship to Shakespeare. He wanted us to look at each other with compassion and empathy. So this is very very exciting because it just gives us an opportunity to dive down and think about access and opportunity.