Theatre Royal Bath has been slammed for “whitewashing” and “wilful arrogance” after hailing a brochure featuring all-white actors as its “greatest line-up ever”.
The front cover of the brochure, for the theatre’s 2018-19 season, shows photos of 16 actors, including David Suchet, Elizabeth McGovern and Robert Lindsay.
However, not a single black, Asian or ethnic minority performer is featured in the selection, which is described on the brochure as “our greatest line-up ever”.
This has prompted an uproar on Twitter, with campaign group Act for Change questioning whether Theatre Royal Bath will “ever join the conversation” on representation and Act for Change founder Danny Lee Wynter describing the move as “wilful arrogance”.
We’ve been sent this today from someone who actually works in the production side of theatre. Bath Theatre Royal. Will they ever join in the conversation? pic.twitter.com/bpYqBEsS63
— The ACT FOR CHANGE Project (@actforchangehq) July 4, 2018
Actor Daniel York said the line-up was “about as diverse as a cricket kit”, adding: “I grew up in Bath. It was a horrible place to be minority ethnic. We were pushed to the margins of the city and always made to feel invisible. They’ve never auditioned me in 28 years. Says it all frankly #Whitewash.”
Writer and actor Maryam Hamidi and actor Stephanie Stevens also criticised the brochure – describing it as “alienating”, “arrogant” and “ignorant”.
— Maryam Hamidi (@MazzHamidi) July 5, 2018
Hamidi said on Twitter: “How many kids in Bath of diverse heritage will be thinking that the theatre world is not for them. Why even consider a career in the industry.”
She added: “Curious about their target audience? It seems this will really only appeal to older, middle-class white audiences. Hammering nails into their own theatre coffins.”
Stevens added: “Is it possible to be this arrogant and ignorant at the same time?”
Theatre Royal Bath did not respond to a request for comment from The Stage.