British Universities Film & Video Council

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Looking for the Moor

Synopsis
Radio broadcast. In preparing to take on the role of Othello for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hugh Quarshie goes in search of the wisdom of others about the ethical conundrums of a black actor playing the role. Hugh is not convinced that Shakespeare actually knew any black people and wonders if the persona of Othello is simply derived from literary and theatrical convention. He also suspects that if Shakespeare had little or no awareness of black people, his characterisation of Othello could be regarded as lazy. If he did, then Hugh believes his approach borders on bigotry and that the role should be seen as a stereotype about which black actors should think twice. Quarshie believes that Othello’s race and colour do not simply determine the reactions and responses of other characters to him; they also go some way to explaining his actions. Shakespeare suggests that Othello behaves as he does because he is black. And to suggest that a person’s behaviour is racially determined is, by definition, racist.
Series
Sunday Feature
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Radio
Transmission details
12 Jul 2015 at 18:45 (Channel: BBC Radio 3)
Duration
45 mins

Credits

Producer
Roger James Elsgood
Contributor
Adrian Lester; Bonnie Greer; Hugh Quarshie; James Earl Jones; Janet Suzman; Jude Kelly; Lenny Henry; Willard White

Additional Details

Production type
Documentary/Educational/News
Plays
Othello
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Black actors; racism; racial stereotyping; Jealousy; Othello (character)
Related items
Othello

Online Availability

Online URL
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06cdmkr
Online format
Streamed/Download

Production Company

Name

Art and Adventure

Contact
Roger Elsgood
Email
roger@artandadventure.org
Web
http://http://www.l-ocean.org/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+44 (0)20 8692 0145 tel & fax
Address
5 Darling Road London SE4 1QY
United Kingdom
Notes
New name of l’Ocean Ltd

Sponsor

Name

BBC Radio 3

Archive

Name

British Library Sound Archive

Email
listening@bl.uk
Web
http://www.bl.uk/nsa External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7412 7676
Fax
020 7412 7441
Address
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB

Distributor

Name

BBC iPlayer

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 545 times.