Although the part of Iago was, in my opinion, misconceived, the acting was, as usual, superlative. If you don’t know the story of the play, it goes like this. Othello is a black military commander (a Moor). The play is set in Venice and Cyprus. Othello has just married a young, beautiful white girl, Desdemona. He has also promoted Cassio over his 2 IC, Iago. Iago is furious, and sets about convincing Othello that his wife, Desdemona is unfaithful. This he manages to do, and in a rage of jealousy Othello murders her. Only then is he given proof by Iago’s distraught wife, that he was terribly mistaken. Iago has to be the wickedest, and cleverest villain in the whole of Shakespeare. And, at the end, I was wanting to tear him to shreds, and to do the same to Othello, who believed that his beautiful and faithful young wife was a whore. My reaction was a direct product of the brilliance of the acting.
And what about you? Have you avoided seeing Othello and Timon of Athens, because they were Shakespeare? Will you avoid Hamlet and Macbeth, which are both coming soon, for the same reason? Apart from the performances being both acting lessons and outstanding in their own right, these shows are perhaps your very best opportunity to see how Shakespearean language can be made to sound just like everyday speech by first class actors. (Perhaps the two very best examples of this can be seen in the films of The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino as the Merchant, and Othello with Kenneth Branagh as Iago.) As I have said before, (all right, I know I’m nagging), you owe it to yourself to see these performances. You will never have a better chance to learn – all sorts of things.
And they are not only at the Nova in Carlton.