Review: Othello

Note: contains spoilers!

On Feb 26 2015 my Shakespeare class headed to The Rose Playhouse, one of the oldest theaters in London to see Othello. This was a modern day adaptation set in a business setting of modern day London.  The set was very simplistic and when Cassio was going to get shot it opened into a wider set, lighting up 50 feet back.


In all this play was very well done, however I had 2 main problems.

1) He was supposed to die at the end!!

It is slightly understandable they cut this out. They made the play be only an hour and a half long, for which I was thankful.

2) It was cold.

The place is an archeological site, meaning there is no bathroom or heating in order to preserve it. It was dark when we got there since it was a nighttime showing, but I have a feeling it would have been really pretty and I wish I had gotten to take more time to admire it.

I loved Iago’s performance. He probably managed to make eye contact with pretty much everyone in the audience. He even laughed at one of my friends when she jumped at a gunshot. It seemed a lot more personal, which is something I enjoyed.

Also, Emilia. She seemed so much more deceiving throughout the entire play than when I had read it. They really drove home the point about how she only got involved to please Iago, but you could still tell she had a deceiving nature, especially during her talk with Desdemona.

There were a lot of characters they just cut out completely. They cut out Desdemona’s father and Bianca was just a skype call. There was just Othello, Desdemona, Emilia, Iago and Cassio in this version. Some lines were voiceovers which I wasn’t a huge fan of, but it was one way to cut down on time. Sometimes it just seemed like the people on stage could have said the lines, so it seemed kind of unnecessary.

In all, I think people should see something at the Rose, just for the experience, but not necessarily this particular show.



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