by William Shakespeare
directed by Daniel Evans
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Thursday 15 September to Saturday 15 October 2011
Running Time: Act I 1 h 35 / Act II 1 h 10 / Interval 15 minutes
Box Office: 0114 249 6000
Review: Sadia Habib, 20 September 2011
AwesomeShakespeare in Sheffield for McNulty and Freamon Fans
Avid fans of the hit HBO show The Wire will delight in two of its stars playing leads in this production of Othello – Clarke Peters (Othello) and Dominic West (Iago). Must be indeed that the majority of the audience are either Othello fans or The Wire fans or both like myself!
Overwhelming ticket sales speak to this, and extra nights have been put on. Peters and West do Shakespeare superbly on stage. West – originally from Sheffield – portrays an Iago with a Yorkshire accent which is a pleasant surprise but suits the role well. Whilst Peters as Othello slips into patois quite often – reminding us of his status as a Moor in Venetian society, and perhaps his own insecurities as being different and ineloquent.
The costumes are impressive to the eye and well-fitting of the era – Othello in leathers as commanding general, and then at leisure in his Arab style long tunic (the thawb). Set design is fabulous where it is fixed with a grand wooden door and the intricate stone floor and towering wall – and then the shifting scenes always marked out by change of props – Othello’s grand desk, Desdemona’s magnificent marital bed with the four-poster effect with a billowing canopy that foregrounds an ominous ending, Emilia’s role as maiden handwashing garments in a traditional bucket and more.
Stunning lanterns sometimes and then when watching the Turkish fleets at sea during a storm there are effects that shock us – howling wind, claps of thunder and lightning flashes – all credit to Lucy Carter’s lighting and Alex Baranowski’s sound.
The acting is awesome. Dominic West definitely pulls off a most dishonest deceitful and destructive Iago; he is so convincing that you almost believe Iago believes himself. And those asides and monologues of Iago’s so brilliantly spoken by West send shivers down your spine.
Duke/Clown – Ian Barritt
Montano/Othello’s attendant – Luciano Dodero
Brabantio/Gratiano – Colin George
Emilia – Alexandra Gilbreath
2nd Senator/3rd Gentleman/Musician – Josh Hart
Desdemona – Lily James
Attendant/Messenger/2nd Gentleman/Musician – Ben Lee
Cassio – Gwilym Lee
Bianco – Leigh McDonald
Lodovico/1st Senator/Herald/4th Gentleman – Rhodri Miles
Othello – Clarke Peters
Roderigo – Brodie Ross
Cassio’s Attendant/Sailor/1st Gentleman/Musician – Andrew Thompson
Iago – Dominic West
Designer – Morgan Large
Lighting – Lucy Carter
Composer and Sound Designer – Alex Baranowski
Fight Director – Terry King
Voice Coach – Emma Woodvine
Dialect Coach – Penny Dyer
Assistant Director – Marieke Audsley