Greg Doran, boss of the state-funded Royal Shakespeare Company, quivered with lefty indignation in yesterday’s Mail as he took issue with the paper’s theatre critic, Quentin Letts, for questioning colour and gender-blind casting policies at the RSC. Doran said theatre had to ‘reflect’ modern Britain, claiming that the RSC is only ever guided by merit – and nothing else, forsooth! – when it comes choosing actors for roles.
Can this be the same Greg Doran who, while running the RSC, has cast his civil partner Antony Sher in three lead role (Falstaff in the two Henry IVs in 2014, Willy Loman in 2015 and Lear in 2016)? Did Sher win those taxpayer-funded star roles in free and fair (and most of all identity-neutral) competition with actors and actresses of colour? If not, why not?