Antony & Cleopatra: A Theatre First

1991. A seismic moment in theatre history.   

In the wings, a small figure with a powerful presence waits to go on stage.   

The lights pick up every glint in her costume, a flash here and there illuminates the darkness backstage. 

A deep breath ... 

Cleopatra!

The first Black Cleopatra steps on to the British stage.   

Enter Doña Croll in Talawa Theatre Company's historic all Black production of William Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra, directed by Yvonne Brewster.   

The production, and that casting decision especially, created a seismic shift because from that moment casting Cleopatra as white became questionable.   History was made, acknowledged and celebrated.

In a Guardian interview with Dea Birkett, Doña Croll said: 

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