By William Shakespeare
‘Men should be what they seem…’
Set against the backdrop of war, Othello, an explosive tale of love, jealousy and betrayal, follows the triumphs and eventual downfall of Shakespeare’s noble General Othello - his love for Desdemona, his trust in the villainous Iago (recently played by Christopher Eccleston in a popular TV adaptation), and his obsessive jealousy that leads to murder. This is a play that has much in common with contemporary issues.
LOVE&MADNESS relocate this action packed thriller to June 1982 and the final days of the Falklands conflict whilst remaining faithful to Shakespear’s text. The action takes place in the Officers Mess on board the commanding vessel of the British taskforce. The intimate nature of the production allows the audience to not only watch this great play but also experience it from within. The eighties setting is wholly appropriate – in Act 3 Scene 3 Othello claims ‘Her name that was as fresh/ As Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and black/ As mine own face’. In the twentieth anniversary of The Falklands War world events of the last year give this setting a chillingly up to the minute feel.
‘I can hardly recall seeing a production which made more sense...a compelling hour and three quarters, this Othello is hard to fault.’
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman.
‘An intensely moving experience...Sheppeck is also magnificent...even if you only came to Edinburgh for the comedy consider indulging yourself with this powerful drama.’
‘Tempestuous and sensual...Sheppeck excels...an extremely moving rendition..brilliant portrayal of incomprehensible malevolence.’
‘This is no ordinary production..Innovative.’
‘Bursting with energy.’
Othello was selected as number 8 in The Stage’s top ten to see at the festival...
James Burrows as Roderigo
Cary Crankson as Gentleman
Justine Elliott as The Duke
Leon Felgate as Montano
Francesca Manzi as Desdemona
Callum O’Neill as Cassio
Camilla Pettit as Bianca
Patrick Regis as Othello
Maeve Rutten as Emilia
Tim Seely as Brabantio
Neil Sheppeck as Iago.
Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh: August 2nd - 26th
Norwich Playhouse: September 25th, 26th
Vera Fletcher Hall, Thames Ditton: September 27th
Explosion!, Gosport: September 28th
TS Queen Mary, London: September 30th - October 5th