A Response to Dominic Cavendish

In Dominic Cavendish’s article lamenting the demise of the male actor because women are stealing all their parts, he lists examples of women who have taken on classic male roles in the past year or so: Tamsin Greig as Malvolio, Glenda Jackson as King Lear, Michelle Terry as Henry V, “a female Cymbeline” (her name is Gillian Bevan, though Cavendish decided not to look that up I guess) at the RSC, and “some… innovations at Shakespeare’s Globe.”

In roughly the same time period in which those woman-led productions appeared, at just the companies listed above, the following canonical leading roles were played by men: Mark Antony (twice), Octavius Caesar (twice), Enobarbus, Orsino (twice), Sebastian (twice), Antonio (twice), Sir Toby (twice), Sir Andrew (twice), Cassius, Brutus, Casca, Julius Caesar, Pistol, the Dauphin, the Duke of Orleans, the Constable of France, Princess Katherine, Palamon, Arcite, Faustus, Mephistopheles, Hamlet, Claudius, Laertes, Polonius, Prospero, Antonio, Gonzalo, Ariel, Caliban, Edgar (twice), Edmund (twice), Gloucester (twice), Kent (twice), Othello, Iago, Cassio, Shylock, Antonio, Bassanio, Posthumous, Iachimo, Macbeth, Macduff, Petruchio, Pericles, Helena, Demetrius, Lysander, Oberon, King Lear, Henry V, Cymbeline, and Malvolio.

Among others.

The boys are just fine.

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