British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Macbeth (1992): English Shakespeare Company
The English Shakespeare Company toured this production of Macbeth to Africa, funded by the British Council. They rehearsed in Sierra Leone and continued to Ghana, Malawi and Namibia. The production had seven actors in total, three white and four black and "represent a cross-fertilisation of cultures from Great Britain, South America, the Caribbean, Nigeria," as Michael Bogdanov wrote in an article in The Daily Telegraph ("The Scottish Play - out of Africa", 18 April 1992). We have been unable to confirm the full cast for this production.
Further clues to the production could be found in an article in The Independent that mentions Don Warrington was to have played Macbeth in an English Shakespeare Company tour to South Africa with a multi-racial company. "The African National Congress supported it; the British Council was prepared to fund it. But although South Africa may once more be playing international cricket, and the De Klerk government may seemingly be intent on reform, the plan has failed to convince the actor's union Equity. Last night an acrimonious row broke out between the English Shakespeare Company (ESC) and the union, with the company claiming Equity had blocked its plans. The ESC, which has established a reputation as a leading company for touring Shakespeare under its joint artistic directors, Michael Bogdanov and Michael Pennington, wanted to extend a tour of Africa this spring into South Africa for three months. However, Equity has advised actors in the company that if they perform in South Africa 'no effective protection can be offered against the consequences.'...The role of Macbeth was to have been played by the black actor Don Warrington, who used to appear in the sitcom Rising Damp." ~ David Lister, "Cancelled Macbeth awakens Equity's apartheid row", Independent, 4 March 1992
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- British Black and Asian Shakespeare Database by the University of Warwick, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council 2012-2015, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. See full copyright statement.