Written By: Ben Cross
Date: June 5 2018
Location: Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
The Everyman Repertory Company has produced several excellent plays in the last few years. From The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary, Fiddler on the Roof and A Midsummer Night’s Dream amongst others, the company has performed several fine productions, befitting of the Everyman’s proud tradition.
In Gemma Bodinetz’s latest production of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, the Everyman can add another must-see production to the list.
This production is given a modern feeling, through the setting within a Cyprus military base. Such a modern twist is evident through the cross-gender casting of Golda Rosheuvel as Othello. I thought it was an interesting idea to switch Othello’s gender, as it opened up the play to modern times, such as same-sex relationships, evident through Othello’s passionate relationship with Desdemona, played by Emily Hughes. Golda’s masterful performance of Othello is one of several positive points, which help to make the play relevant, whilst retaining the prominent themes of tragedy, power, race and class, all things evident in Shakespeare’s text.
The supporting cast also play their part. Indeed, I cannot fault the performances at all, as everyone from the characters of Desdemona, Rodrigo and the villainous Iago, are not just two-dimensional, but are played and also made believable. What also stood out for me was the character of Iago, played by Patrick Brennan. Patrick’s portrayal of Iago was a combination of the loyal servant, yet scheming and manipulating events in the background.
As for the design and look of the production, I admit that I was surprised. This was because I was expecting a minimal visual look of boxes and props. Yet, the set design and costumes were aesthetically impressive, with beds, see-through curtains, and costumes consisting of modern combat uniforms, along with stylish clothes for the characters of Desdemona, Bianca and Emilia. I noticed the clothes caught the eyes and attention of female members of the audience, as I heard some positive comments about them during the interval.
Overall, I was impressed by the production. With good performances and an easy-going visual style, this adaptation of Othello is certainly worth seeing.
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good