Don Warrington has backed the idea for a new awards ceremony to celebrate black, Asian and ethnic minority talent in theatre.
The idea was touted earlier this year by Theatre Royal Stratford East artistic director Kerry Michael, who suggested theatre needed a “regular, sexy, expensive” new awards show, akin to the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) awards for the music industry.
Speaking to The Stage, Warrington said Michael’s idea would help “level the playing field” for BAME talent.
“My view is: why not? What does it damage? It doesn’t. If anything, it’s an encouragement,” he said.
The actor continued: “I think that people can feel outside of the major awards because black actors do not get the same opportunities as white actors – there’s no two ways about that. So the more chances you get, the more likely you are to come up with something that is good and is rewarded.
“If you can in some way level the playing field, however you do it, I think that’s good. If it helps people, if it encourages people, if it brings people into the light, that’s more to the good.”
Warrington made his endorsement for a new ceremony after being cast as King Lear earlier this week in a new production at the Royal Exchange.
Michael Buffong will direct the play – a co-production with Talawa – which runs at the theatre from April 1 to May 7 next year, before transferring to Birmingham Repertory Theatre for a run from May 19 to 28.