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Monday, 30 January 2023

REVIEW: Frantic Assembely’s Othello at The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

A tragedy fuelled by jealousy and revenge, Othello, can be seen as one of Shakespeare’s most challenging works to navigate. Loyalty and love lose out too dark thoughts and desires that lurk in the best of us which performers and audiences alike must confront in themselves. 

Frantic Assembly’s two-hour adaptation of this complex text finds a way to make it relatable as they bravely tackle challenging aspects of the human condition amplified in it with gusto for a modern-day audience. It is a visual retelling of the story as much as an exploration of classical language with a contemporary tung and has something to offer any die-hard lover of Shakespeare or those more intimidated by the Bard.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

REVIEW: Othello at the Watermill Theatre

Since William Shakespeare’s Othello was first performed in 1604 it has built up a reputation from the theatrical greats who have played the leads over the years. Paul Hart’s production boldly reimagines the story by adding modern music to draw out the emotions and themes, casts the scheming Iago as a woman and sets the whole play in a modern military base in Cyprus. It creates a vibrant exploration of its themes of domestic violence and the clawing desire for power and control. Each of the lead characters needs to portray both the external presentation of their position but also their inner selves so the play is less about race and more about basic human nature and desire.    

Sophie Stone, a founder of the deaf and hearing ensemble theatre company, dominates the stage as the scheming antagonist of the piece, Iago adapting her style to each encounter to create maximum influence over the manipulable persona she meets. From her loutish ensnaring of Rodrigo (Ediz Mahmut) to her seductive controlling of Emilia (Chioma Uma) and misleading guidance of Cassio (Yazdan Qafouri) she slowly and effectively draws the net around Othello with an obsequiousness feigned loyalty. As she says “I hate the moor” but only we can see this as her plotting evolves. We obsequiousness don’t need to hear Billie Ellish’s “Bad Guy” to know that her villainy is at the heart of this story.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Casting announces for Frantic Assembly's OTHELLO

Mark Ebulue, recently of the RSC and a former kickboxer, will play the title role in Frantic Assembly’s acclaimed and award-winning production of Othello by William Shakespeare – a co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth.

The role of Iago will be played by Steven Miller, known for his four-year stint as Lenny Lyons in Casualty (BBC TV), with Kirsty Oswald (The Judas Kiss, The Winter’s Tale) as Desdemona. Frantic Assembly’s Othello is being revived for a UK tour beginning in October 2014, culminating in a four-week London run at the Lyric Hammersmith in January 2015.

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