Impressive Everyman company return with their take on Othello
AFTER presenting Paint Your Wagon and A Clockwork Orange, the impressive Everyman company has revamped Shakespeare’s Othello.
The play centres around Iago (Patrick Brennan), who is furious because the younger Cassio (Cerith Flinn) has been promoted above him by Othello (Golda Rosheuvel).
He plots his revenge and plants the seed of doubt in Othello’s mind that Othello’s wife Desdemona (Emily Hughes) is having an affair with Cassio which has tragic consequences.
Of course there is no affair, and Iago’s claims are totally made up. The show’s director, Gemma Bodinetz, compares these untruths to fake news and believes the play is as relevant today as it was when it was first written 400 years ago.
Brennan plays the part well and is good at putting across Iago’s cunning behaviour. The characters believe that Iago is “honest”, but they do not realise what he is really thinking and plotting until it is too late.
Bodinetz has decided to cast Othello as a woman and it works. Rosheuvel has plenty of gravitas and she portrays Othello’s characteristics well.
Hughes, who stood out as Jennifer Rumson in Paint Your Wagon, is equally good as Desdemona. Her love for Othello does not waver and she cannot understand why Othello is so annoyed with her.
This production, of one of Shakespeare’s most engaging plays, is well staged and of particular note are the final dramatic scenes in Othello’ s and Desdemona’s bed chamber.
The actors at the Liverpool venue have the audience on all four sides of them, but never do you feel that you are not involved in the action. 9/10