You need to see it live

2011-03-08 00:00

REVIEW: Othello

Playhouse Drama Theatre


IT’S been three years since I last watched Think Theatre’s Othello and I am delighted to report that it’s lost none of its power in that time.

Farai Gwaze is a huge presence on stage in the title role, showing the nobility of the Moor and his mental breakdown caused by jealousy over his wife, Desdemona’s, alleged infidelity.

That meltdown is brought on by Iago, played with evil malevolence by Clinton Small. His approach is different to that employed by Iain “Ewok” Robinson, who played the role in the first production, and I really enjoyed the way Small engages the audience in his many plots.

Josette Eales is quite simply amazing as Desdemona, whose innocent pleading of her supposed lover, Cassio’s (Mark Kay), case to her husband ultimately leads to her downfall. Her Desdemona is no milk-and-water miss, but is feisty and brave to the end.

Janna Ramos-Violante, who takes on the role of Iago’s wife, Emilia, is also wonderful to watch. The scene in which she reveals her husband’s plotting despite his efforts to silence her, is riveting to watch.

Mark Kay imbues Cassio with humanity and strength, particularly when the depth of Iago’s plotting is revealed.

Providing great support for the principals are Loyiso MacDonald, Michael Gritten, Darren King, Clare Mortimer (who also directs), Adam Dore, Bryan Hiles and Rowan Bart­lett.

Watching Othello and seeing the Bard’s words performed live brings home the fact that he never intended for his plays simply to be read. To appreciate this classic tragedy fully, with its complex themes of racism, love, jealousy and betrayal, you need to see it performed live.

So, if your child’s school hasn’t booked seats to see the play, at the Playhouse until March 11, or for the run at the Hilton College Theatre from March 14 to March 18, get them to do so.

• Think Theatre Company’s acclaimed staging of Shakespeare’s Othello is at the Playhouse Drama Theatre until Friday.

The production is geared for secondary school learners studying Shakespeare’s stage tragedy as a set work.

Schools’ performances are at 9 am and noon daily. Tickets are R40 at Computicket.

The production moves to the Hilton College Theatre from March 14 to March 18 (9 am and noon).

Tickets are R40 (free for teachers).

Adults are welcome to attend (tickets R40).

To book phone 033 383 0126 or e-mail

For more information phone the show’s producer, Margie Coppen, at 083 251 9412.

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