Othello at the CLF Art Café
Deceit, love and murder go hand-in-hand in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello, and when the curtains go down on Anthony Green’s production, the audience will be weeping on the edge of their seats.
Iago, furious that Othello has cast Cassio as lieutenant over him, weaves a web of lies to set characters against each other; destroying everything Othello holds close to him and making him the executor of his own demise.
In a contemporary war setting the staging is intimate, the audience and actors are positioned on the same level, making the action feel closer. When a character falls in a fight, he falls at your feet and the acting is so enthusiastic that you find yourself resisting the urge to bend down to help him up.
The performance, like Shakespeare’s language, is so decadent that the audience might as well be one of Iago’s playthings – being passed around and mesmerised by the tale.
Zackary Momoh and Harriet Green work superbly together as the tragic lovers, Othello and Desdemona. They bounce off each other playfully, making the second half of the production – the gory climax– stunningly painful. Jack Johns gives a well-paced performance of Iago, putting just the right amount of “cheeky-chappy” into the role to carry the audience along with his twisting plot and make them reel in horror at his sudden bouts of violence.
Shakespeare’s characters are cast and accomplished with an emotion and wit that carries the audience on the poignant tumult. With such an intimate setting and beautifully executed lighting, the audience is thoroughly taken in. If you see one retelling of a Shakespearean classic this year, make sure it’s this one.
Othello is on at the CLF Art Café until 22nd February 2013. For further information or to book tickets visit here.