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Actors are trained to play all roles (your views, February 22)

Jack Lieberman took exception to a Gentile actor playing Goldberg in The Birthday Party (Letter, February 15).I would like to point out that I have played three of the four male characters in that play. McCann the Irishman at the Crucible Sheffield directed by Job Steward, Stanley in the Orbit Company, directed by Kenneth Parrott, and Petey for Shared Experience, directed by Nancy Meckler.Harold Pinter came to see the latter production and we went out to dinner afterwards. During the course of the evening, I mentioned that I had played three parts, but had not yet played Goldberg.

He said: “You must. You will be very good.” I replied that he was only saying that because he wanted the royalties. There was a slight Pinter-esque pause before we roared with laughter.As a working-class actor from Bethnal Green, east London, I have performed in more than 300 plays over a long career. Accents have included anything from Cockney to various Irish and Scottish ones. I also played a working-class woman, Mrs Swob in Habeas Corpus, as well as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. Along with an attacking neutron, a prince and the Jewish Tubal, in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, I was also a German emcee in Cabaret.I believe many of us become actors to play all roles, no matter what – as long as we put the work in to do our best.

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