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RSC artistic director: I don’t care who Shakespeare was

Some have argued over the years that William Shakespeare did not write the plays and poems accredited to him.

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Gregory Doran in rehearsals For Measure for Measure (Helen Maybanks/RSC/PA)

Gregory Doran in rehearsals For Measure for Measure (Helen Maybanks/RSC/PA)

Gregory Doran in rehearsals For Measure for Measure (Helen Maybanks/RSC/PA)

There is “snobbery” behind some of the claims disputing the Bard’s identity, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director has said.

It has been argued that William Shakespeare did not write the plays and poems accredited to him.

But Gregory Doran said he was not bothered by the dispute.

“I don’t care. Ultimately we’ve got this fantastic body of plays,” he said, as he announced the RSC’s winter season.

“I don’t care who he/she or they were.

“We debate endlessly about who wrote them.”

Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, has been touted as the possible “real” author, along with philosopher Sir Francis Bacon and playwright Christopher Marlowe.

But Doran said: “There is a degree of snobbery about who could have written them. I don’t think it was the Earl of Oxford.

“I don’t think we fully understand the facts.”

Plays were being churned out during the period, he added.

There was often “a stable of writers, like a Hollywood stable,” he said of working practices during the time. “I think people were writing and sharing and collaborating more than we actually know.”

The RSC is showing all three parts of Henry VI as part of its newly announced winter season.

Doran said he did not think Shakespeare wrote much of Henry VI Part 1, which was a “prequel”, even though he had “a hand in it”.

The RSC has been enjoying success with the musical The Boy In The Dress, based on the book by David Walliams.

One of the group of rotating actors playing the main character, Dennis, had to leave when his voice broke.

PA