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RSC publicly calls out The Sunday Times for describing production as "garishly diverse"

The company made the announcement on its Twitter channel

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
© RSC, photo by Sara Beaumont

The RSC has publicly called out The Sunday Times for describing one of its shows as "garishly diverse".

The tone-deaf listing appeared in yesterday's print edition of the publication in reference to the venue's 2018 production of Romeo and Juliet, which starred Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick in the titular roles.

On social media the RSC stated that: "We are calling out the unacceptable and abhorrent phrase used in today's Sunday Times listings around our productions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. It devalues the work of RSC artists and we will be formally responding to John Dugdale [who wrote the listing] and Emma Tucker [editor of the publication]."

The company's deputy artistic director Erica Whyman (who oversaw the production) said on Twitter that "This is completely unacceptable. I am so angry. How is it possible to even to allow this thought to form, in this week of all weeks? I will be writing to Mr Dugdale and his editor."

In 2018 the company criticised writer Quentin Letts for a "blatantly racist attitude" after Letts wrote a review in the Daily Mail about one of the RSC's new productions. Letts has since become the theatre critic for The Sunday Times.

Gill saw the irony in the situation, having won the Ian Charleson Award (which is supported by The Times) for his performance in the show.

Also appearing in the piece were Ishia Bennison as Nurse, Josh Finan as Benvolio, Mariam Haque as Lady Capulet and Sakuntala Ramanee as Lady Montague.

Completing the cast are Afolabi Alli as Paris, Donna Banya as Gregory, Stevie Basaula as Sampson, Katy Brittain as Friar John/Apothecary, Raif Clarke as Peter, Beth Cordingly as Escalus, Paul Dodds as Montague, Andrew French as Friar Laurence, Michael Hodgson as Capulet, John Macaulay as Cousin Capulet, Tom Padley as Balthasar and Nima Taleghani as Abraham.

The production was directed by deputy artistic director Whyman, with design by Tom Piper, lighting by Charles Balfour, music by Sophie Cotton and movement by Ayse Tashkiran.