Exit King Lear as women claim the centre stage

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in October 2018:

The feminist assault on the artistic creations of men continues apace, mostly at taxpayers’ expense. A piece in today’s Times, emphases ours:

The time has come when having an actress play a male Shakespeare character is no longer enough, the deputy artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company has said. Now, you should consider changing the character’s gender altogether — for every one, from Lear to Falstaff.

Erica Whyman said she had considered switching the genders of the protagonists in the RSC’s production of Romeo and Juliet, which has the company’s first female Mercutio. “I did think about it,” she told The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. “The responsibility is now to think about it with every part.” [J4MB: Hmm, where does “the responsibility” come from?]

She said that her approach to Mercutio had been changed for ever by having Charlotte Josephine play the pivotal character as a woman. “There’s something very natural, very easy about shifting the gender of Mercutio,” she said. “It has not felt complicated. Hardly changed any words, a few he’s to she’s, a few sir’s to miss.”

She added, however, that some “grown-ups” cannot adjust. [J4MB: Feminists, not being “grown-ups”, have no problem with adjusting.]

Whyman, 48, said that it had been fascinating to see how different age groups responded to a female Mercutio. The production will run at the Barbican from next month, having finished in Stratford.

“One of the most moving things has been seeing men and women my age and older talking about gender and talking about their reaction to the shifts on the stage and sometimes having quite difficult conversations about it,” she said. “And who can get their head around it and who can’t. But if it is provoking a conversation then that seems a good thing.” [J4MB: Even if the conversations are about how stupid an initiative this is, presumably.]

In recent years there has been Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse, Glenda Jackson’s King Lear and Maxine Peake, among others, has played Hamlet. Few productions, however, have shifted the gender of a character.

Whyman said that she had ruled out changing Juliet’s gender because it would be “hard to find a world” where a male character would have been denied freedom in the way she was. She added that Juliet was the “bravest, most articulate person . . . I was interested in that version of a feminist reading of Juliet”. [J4MB: The fact that non-feminists – the vast majority of people – would have no interest is, of course, of no import. Taxpayer support for the RSC will continue, regardless.]

Josephine said she hoped Mercutio would be female in future productions. She also criticised the casting of previous Juliets. “I have never felt quite like I am a Juliet,” she said. “We have had very narrow casting of a blonde, skinny, pretty, passive girl. Thank god the casting is now changing.” [J4MB: The envy here is palpable. Clearly Juliet should be played by a blue-haired 30-stone bad-tempered foul=mouthed 45-year-old lesbian wearing Doc Martens boots.]

In the comments section, Antonia writes:

When is this push for female domination going to stop? I’m ashamed of my sex the way things are going. These women seem determined to emasculate men at every turn.

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