Othello, The Union Theatre - ★★★★ - Until April 6, 2019

Photographer: Scott Rylander.

"Othello" again? Yes, but this is a truly new look at Shakespeare's classic. Phil Willmott's decision to stage the oft-produced play in India at the time of Britain's rule infuses the work with a new relevance to a post-colonial world. The timeless tale of passion and jealousy takes on a political overtone that makes for challenging and intriguing theatre. From before the play actually begins the clash of cultures is foreshadowed in the contrast of British patriotic songs underlain by the rhythm of distant Indian drums. The cast are generally excellent with Rikki Lawton's Iago being the personification of the insinuating inner voice of corrosive doubt and jealousy, while Matthew Wade wonderfully captures Othello as a personification of our better nature undermined by gullibility and unconsidered trust. The atmosphere created is as haunting as Othello is haunted by his mistrust, and the evocation of the dark, mysterious India that underlies the false order of the Raj echoes the relation of Iago to Othello. All this is beautifully captured by an imaginative set and masterful direction. Like the torch used to reveal the characters in one very effective scene, this production illuminates new meaning in the classic.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until April 6, 2019
Tue - Sat: 7:30 pm. Mar 24, 31 & Apr 6: 2:30 pm
The Union Theatre
Nearest tube: Southwark

http://www.uniontheatre.biz/othello.html

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