British to Let Yankee Be God

From Reuters

God can be portrayed on the stage by a black American, the British actors' union Equity decided today.

It approved the choice of a black American star to play God in a Biblical musical after producers failed to find a British actor for the role.

Equity had asked the producers of "The Children of Eden," a multiracial musical based on the Old Testament, to prove they had tried to find a Briton before approving the choice of American Ken Page.

"British Equity welcomes talented foreign artists working in our country even when they are required to play such an obvious British part as God," Equity secretary Peter Plouviez quipped.

Author John Caird has said Page was the only actor with the vocal range and experience to play God.

Equity, which has stressed that the dispute was over nationality and not race, said in a statement it dropped its opposition to Page because it was persuaded that the producers had made a serious attempt to cast God from among British actors.

British Equity dismissed speculation that the wrangle over Page was a tit-for-tat dispute with American Equity over the casting of a Briton in a Broadway show.

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