Actresses should be cast in male roles on stage, says the union Equity as it complains about the lack of roles for women in theatre.

Sir Peter Hall’s son, Edward Hall, is in trouble despite his theatrical pedigree. The Hampstead Theatre’s artistic director has encountered his first taste of controversy after being condemned for staging plays that feature predominantly male casts.

Jean Rogers, the former Emmerdale actress, who is now Equity’s vice-president, has come up with an imaginative solution.

She says directors should cast women to play men, in the same way that theatre audiences have come to accept “colour-blind casting”, in which black actors perform roles such as Henry V that were previously the preserve of whites.


While I can see how Patterson Joseph or Lenny James would be absolutely convincing as Hamlet or Hugh Quarshie as Macbeth, somehow I can't get my head round the idea of Helena Bonham Carter as Stanley Kowalski, with Miranda Hart playing Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire.