Antiracist Titus Andronicus

by Noel Yaxley (February 2023)

Titus Andronicus: Tamora, Lavinia, Demetrius and Chiron, Samuel Woodforde


The Globe Theatre in London has decided to pay a number of identity-obsessed creatives to rewrite Titus Andronicus, one of William Shakespeare’s most powerful plays. These progressive-minded individuals have decided the 430-year-old play needs to more accurately reflect the modern world. As such, it has been given a progressive tweak.

For this new all-female production, the characters have been made prejudiced. I will gloss over the irony that while the Globe appears to care about racism, they fail to see the sexism inherent in their hiring policies.

To make it more meaningful to a modern audience, obscure and obsolete slurs will be replaced with contemporary racial terminology. Aaron’s character has undergone the most significant changes. In Shakespeare’s bloodthirsty tragedy, he is portrayed as a “barbarous Moor” and “Raven-colour’d.” This version refers to him as “black,” According to director Jude Christian, the “racism in the play is masked by Shakespeare’s language.” The reason for the rewrite is to show theatregoers what the words meant in Shakespeare’s time.

Except that’s not what has happened. What Ms. Christian et al. have done is change the words to suit their own narrative, one that conforms to her ideological worldview. We don’t really know what the great bard’s words meant because that was almost half a millennia ago. Unless you’re a Shakespeare scholar, all you can do is review the records and make an inference. The political, social and cultural landscape of 16th-century England is very different from the world we inhabit today.

The all-female ‘Titus Andronicus’ cast

Race baiting has become a multi-million-pound industry in the United Kingdom, as it has throughout the Western world. The “diversity, equity and inclusion” industry is an extremely lucrative sector of employment for anyone with a post-colonial studies degree. So-called “diversity  managers” command extortionate salaries while actively campaigning for race quotas in employment. The problem is, when it comes to racism, we have a supply and demand problem; the demand is far outstripping the supply. So when professional race grifters can’t find any evidence of actual racism, they have to invent it. Or as is the case here, manipulate language to frame people as racist. And what could be better than the words of a man who’s been dead for four hundred years.

As you’d expect, this all comes after the “Black Lives Matter” protests. The Globe issued a statement, declaring its commitment to become an “anti-racist organisation.” The problem is they are pushing a dishonest and politically divisive agenda for their own ideological and financial gain. “Re-imagining” Shakespeare is a dishonest and frankly disgusting attempt to rewrite history. Another example of an attack on British culture.

Like countless other talentless ideologues working in the arts, these people are cultural vandals, moral martinets who find it easier to alter, erase, or permanently destroy everything they find offensive. It is a virus that has affected the arts industry. If you work for a taxpayer-funded institution that promotes divisive identity politics disguised as education, your funding should be withdrawn.

If you want to see it, it will be performed in The Globe’s indoor Sam Wanamaker theatre beginning January 19th.


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Noel Yaxley is a writer based in Norfolk, England. He spent four years reading politics at university before turning his attention to writing.

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