Paul Robeson The son of a former slave, this iconic American star took to the stage at London’s Savoy Theatre in 1930 and received 20 curtain calls on his opening night. The production ran for more than a year and was lauded for bringing Othello into the modern age.
Hugely controversial, Olivier’s turn at the National Theatre in 1964 in full make-up was met with much disapproval. He did, however, receive stellar reviews for his acting.
The first white Othello in decades, Stewart’s turn in the role in Washington DC in 1997 was part of a “photo negative” production: the other cast members were black.
Michael Grandage’s production at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 2007 saw Nigerian-born Ejiofor prove a sensation for both audiences and critics. He went on to win an Olivier award for best actor, but has not appeared in a Shakespeare play since.