Ever since I was a young actor I wanted to be at the RSC. It was where I watched and learned from some of the greatest actors Simon Russell Beale, Robert Stephens, Kenneth Branagh – it was a school of excellence for me. I grew up at the RSC; I’ve been there as long as Greg, it’s my second home.
It was Steven Pimlott who got me to come to the RSC; he was Associate Director there when I started my first season in 1993 when we did The Merchant of Venice, Moby Dick and Murder in the Cathedral. Steven was a lovely man; he was the first person in your dressing room congratulating you after press night even for the shows he wasn’t the director for. I’d dedicate everything to him.
When I got the call from Mike (Michael Attenborough) asking me if I would do Othello I was doing a lot of film work and wasn’t sure if I should go back to the RSC or stay doing films, but I’m glad I did it. I didn’t realise I was the first black actor to play the role on the main RSC stage since Paul Robeson until later when they made more of it. I just wanted to play the part!
Black History Month - October 2016
Join us in celebrating past performance and looking to the future of diversity in theatre. Follow our stories on our Black History Month blog and share your comments using #blackhistory