Shakespeare anti-Semitic - Rylance
British actor Mark Rylance has said he has to cut out parts of Shakespeare's plays because they are "anti-Semitic".
The former artistic director at the Globe Theatre in London, who is currently starring on TV in Wolf Hall, said: "I don't think there's pressure (to remove) the bawdy jokes. He's bawdier a lot more times than people realise.
"The pressures I feel are more for times where he will say something very anti-Semitic."
Rylance also warned against making pupils read Shakespeare and be tested about his plays in schools because it was "disrespectful to the author."
Shakespeare's plays were supposed to be performed and reading them was "the last thing the author intended," he said.
Asked whether he ever censored plays when adapting them for the stage, Rylance said: " I have to make the decision, do I include that or not? There are some very unfortunate anti-Semitic things that characters say.
"If a character says it, it doesn't mean the author means it but since the Holocaust ... these statements have a lot more resonance now than they did at that time."
Rylance, 55, was speaking at the Globe where he unveiled a copy of Shakespeare's first folio that was recently found in France.
The Saint Omer folio was found in November in a library, where it had lain undiscovered for nearly 200 years.
The value of the folio is estimated at £3 million to £6 million, according to Remy Cordonnier, who uncovered it in the library in Saint Omer.
There are only around 230 copies of the folio in existence, experts say.
Rylance said: "Mostly you edit the plays because they're too long and boring. I think they were edited at the time.
"From what I know of talking to scholars, our own practices are not different from what they did at the time.
"If you went out and played in a puritan town in the north of England, you took out some of the things that were going to offend those people."
He said actors would be "chased out of town" if they did not censor their own plays.
"Players have always adjusted the words to get on with the powers that be," he said.
Rylance, who has won three Tony awards for his roles in Shakespeare plays, added that he was "not a big fan" of making young people read them.
He said: "I'm not a big fan of young people being forced to read Shakespeare.
"His chosen art form was theatre. It's not a thing that relies on whether you can read or not.
"The plays were written to be heard and I think taking young people to read them and then answer tests about them is really disrespectful to the author.
"If you like reading them, great. I prefer to hear them and have them acted out. I can't understand them apart from when I read them, until I get up and play them, or hear some good actors playing them because they are expressions of emotions and feelings.
"If you read them drily, unless you imagine that stuff, or are good at imagining that stuff, they cannot make sense
"But when you hear them and see them acted out in front of you or you act them out yourself, which is what I did as a child, then you really get into the value of them.
"So I'm a little bit sceptical about young people being forced to read them. If they want to, great, but I think that's the last thing the author intended."