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Staffordshire ware figure of Othello and Iago. Shakespeare's characters Othello and Iago are depicted here, c1840, wearing the sort of fanciful period costumes that pleased actors and audiences alike until the mid-19th century. Thereafter producers of Shakespeare's plays attached increasing importance to 'authentic' period dress.The first Black actor to play Othello was Ira Aldridge. Born in New York, Aldridge came to England in the 1820s working as a personal attendant to James Wallack, a British American actor and theatre manager. Aldridge made his highly acclaimed debut in Othello and toured Europe playing Shakespearian roles.
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