Dame Janet Suzman has downplayed reports that she claimed theatre “is a white invention”.
The 74-year-old actress was quoted in The Guardian as saying theatre was in the DNA of white people but not others.
Dame Janet told the BBC her comments were exaggerated and the ethnicity of stage actors “doesn’t matter”.
The Shakespearean actor was responding to Meera Syal, who last week appealed to the theatre industry to cater more for Asian audiences.
“Theatre is a white invention, a European invention, and white people go to it. It’s in their DNA. It starts with Shakespeare,” Dame Janet told The Guardian.
Speaking to the BBC, the actress, who was made a dame in 2011 for services to drama, said her comments were accurate yet slightly nuanced.
She said that she agreed with actress and writer Syal that a greater range of stage performances needed to be commissioned in order to attract more eclectic audiences.
“Why are there not more Asian plays on in London? I agree that the theatre scene needs to be more diverse.
“Most of the faces I see at the theatre in London are white middle class with deep pockets, as it’s so expensive.
“It seems to me that the solution is to just simply commission more Asian theatre performances.
“At the end of the day, if it’s a good play, it’s a good play. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity the actors are,” Dame Janet told the BBC.
The distinguished stage actress also told The Guardian: “I’ve just done a South African play. My co-star is a young black man from the slums of Cape Town. Totally brilliant actor. I saw one black face in the room, …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment