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lime Theatre Review: Othello

Lime Review - Theatre


words by

Victoria Woode

Reporter: Victoria Woode

I headed down to the National theatre to see one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies - Othello. 

A play full of unexpected twists and turns and a good measure of humour. Adrian Lester had the starring role of Othello, a performance that theatre goers had been waiting for all year.

Before the play even began I was apprehensive, in the sense that Adrian Lester doesn't fit the usual physique of your average Othello, but lo, and behold he was the perfect man for the job. I was pleasantly pleased and surprised with his portrayal of Othello.

The Charisma and authority oozed through the theatre. Othello's character was absolutely flawless and completely convinced the audience with the emotion behind his eyes. I felt his pain and empathised with his marital trauma. 


The play itself didn't seem out of place in the 21st century, given the frequent news stories of jilted lovers driven by demons to commit crimes.  I'll stop there before I give too much away!

I enjoyed the combination of contemporary styling and archaic speech. The costumes were modern, roughly reminiscent of the late 1980’s; however the cast maintained true Shakespearian language.

I must say in the beginning the language sounded a little unnatural to my favourite characters lago (played by Rory Kinnear) and his loveable wingman Roderigo, however this improved within seconds. Iago reminded me of a dated cockney 'Phil Mitchell' Esq. character; corrupt, evil and troublesome! With a brilliant portrayal of jealousy.

If you're not a dedicated Shakespeare fan I would still recommend Othello, as it's one of the easier plays to follow.

Overall the performance by the whole cast was show stopping, the standing ovation at the end was definitely deserved and I take my hat off to the director! 

Info: Until 6th July, National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk


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