“It’s all for you” – Othello Re-imagined

“It’s all for you” – Othello Re-imagined

On Wednesday 19th April, ten Year 13 students studying A2 Literature visited the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse Theatre for a production of set text, Shakespeare’s Othello. As befitting Shakespearean Tragedy, the performance was not without controversy. The setting, part of the superb Globe Theatre complex, was highly authentic; the entire performance in this very small and intense theatrical space was lit only by candles, as it would have been in Jacobean times when Othello was first performed. Yet the performance began and ended with an actor taking smartphone photos of the blood-stained bed which remained as the centrepiece onstage throughout. Add to this the repeated refrain from Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ and even a brief sample of Katy Perry’s ‘I kissed a girl..’ along with a semi-naked Iago in a wig and tutu, and you begin to get an idea of the challenging recipe offered by director Ellen McDougall’s production. Suffice to say, it raised enough detailed ideas and complex issues for a very energetic and productive post-visit discussion lesson. As anticipated, there is room for both traditional Shakespeare and postmodern interpretation – live theatre should offer us both – this was classical tragedy infused with Del Rey’s haunting lyrics, via Iago’s observation ‘I am not what I am.’

Mr T. Green

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