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Jo Rush

It was the law-makers of Shakespeare's time, not the actors and writers, who were the real sexists.

By Jo Rush

As a woman working within the world of professional theatre I would be truly disturbed if I felt that a production at one of our best-known national theatres, and featuring a venerated performer such as Stephen Fry, was celebrating a ‘sexist practice’. There are many sexual inequalities within the theatrical profession but I do not believe that staging all-male Shakespearean productions is one of them. In fact, having seen both the original 2002 production of Twelfth Night that the upcoming production is a revival of, and an all-female staging of Much Ado About Nothing at The Globe in 2004, it was the women who appeared guilty of sexism to me, as their Much Ado was full of crude gender stereotypes that were not at all present in the sensitive and powerful all-male Twelfth Night.

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