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Jane Austen News – Issue 27

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  Harry Potter Actor Calls For Black Mr Darcy     In an exclusive interview for Metro.co.uk, actor Alfred Enoch, who is perhaps best known for his role as Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter film series, has said that there is still a lack of diversity seen in today’s stage productions, and especially in productions of Shakespeare. But it’s not just the decline in the number of black performers in the main casts of Shakespeare productions that he wants to be addressed. He’d also like to see more iconic figures from other classic stories and plays being portrayed by black and minority ethnic actors. Specifically he’d like to see a black Mr Darcy. We need black and minority ethnic actors in non-racially specific roles that normally go to white actors. We need to get to where in a piece of storytelling race doesn’t matter. We need to explore different perspectives. How many times have we seen a black Mr Darcy? The vital thing is flexibility – why shouldn’t there be a black Darcy? is it really going to grind things to a halt if there is? Austen Beats Dickens on Stage? According to americantheatre.org, Austen was the second most-produced literary figure on the stages of Theatre Communications Group member thea­tres in the 2015-16 season, with 14 productions of works based on her novels. Previously Dickens has regularly been a feature of theatres during the holidays, but now it seems Austen adaptations are beginning to take over

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