Actor Adama Diop Othello of the New Age
Is Adama Diop in the spotlight because he’s black? Or because he became one of the prominent actors in the French theater? The two mingle inextricably. Especially since he plays Othello under the gold of the Odeon, in Paris, one of the finest theaters in France. Shakespeare’s hero has become an issue and dispute in recent years: the only major role, or nearly so, in the Western repertoire of presenting a black character has been, in France as elsewhere, played almost exclusively by white actors. Even blacks.
In a society where representations associated with colonial history dissolve into pain and denial, this type of practice no longer works. Having become the ultimate symbol of a structurally racist society, both in what Shakespeare put it in and in the way productions renewed that very racism, he henceforth had a black actor playing Othello. Director Luke Bundy He paid the price, shortly before his death, in 2015, that he wanted to climb othello With Philippe Turreton in the title role, which caused great controversy on social networks.
All this, the role in itself, is overwhelming and complex, and the one it plays in a society whose eyes are slowly opening up, Adama Diop assumes it with serenity and princely elegance, and it’s not just clothes—a wax jacket with geometric patterns, a parma-coloured tunic, a plaited cotton hat on the head. With a little fatigue too: Ideally, I’d rather spend two hours with you talking about theater and the art of acting, than continually coming back to these questions, he sighs. But we do not live in an ideal world, and we cannot do without these topics, especially with it Othello. »
Desire and distinction
Adama Diop also understands that his journey is a symbol. Born in Dakar 41 years ago into a small-middle-class family far from the stage, today he is a sought-after actor, capable of great Shakespearean roles such as Macbeth, in 2018, under the direction of Stefan Braunschweigor crazy adventures like the one he had with Julian Jocelyn in theatrical marathons 2666 (2016) And Players, Mao II, names (2018).
“It was to talk about my fight for the artist I was” – Adama Diop
This course, he built in desire and excellence, was tested as a commitment when he found himself at the Montpellier Conservatory, at the beginning of the 2000s, after winning a prize at the Interscholastic Festival in Dakar. Who wanted to become a journalist got a click by seeing another black actor Babacar Mbaye Fall rehearsing on the stage. “Something really happened at that time: the idea that it was possible, that with work you could get there.”
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