(Elisabeth Vincentelli’s article appeared in the New York Times, 1/11; via Pam Green.)

Back in 2007, Harriet Walter thought she was done with Shakespeare. Over the decades, the British actress had taken on some of his major female characters, including Viola, Lady Macbeth and Beatrice, and she had just completed a successful West End run in “Antony and Cleopatra” opposite Patrick Stewart. “I felt I was just getting comfortable,” Ms. Walter recently said, smiling slightly. “But then — basta!”

The problem wasn’t that this actor’s actor, revered by her peers, had lost interest. The problem was that she was nearing 60 and the playwright just didn’t offer big roles for older women.

So she turned to his men.

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