A new production of Othello | Sport for Jove

Othello is no more than a frighteningly human story. Relentless, dark, and even darkly funny, it disturbs in us the very real thoughts we don’t dare to share, even to think, and the very real things people do to each other. ‘The object poisons sight, let it be hid’ - by the time the curtains are pulled down to hide a terrible crime, there is little certainty left about who we are in a world where identity is as fluid as blood and temper. Are we any more than the stories we tell or the ones we are willing to believe? This innovative new production explores global themes of conflict and racism on a personal scale, combining Sport for Jove’s trademark textual clarity and storytelling with a powerful cast, including Mandela Mathia (Sami in Paradise Belvoir) as Othello, Adele Querol as Desdemona (Rose Riot) and Artistic Director Damien Ryan as Iago.

No Shakespeare play is more searing or offers a more modern X-ray of contemporary political tensions. A General from ‘outside’ Venice, a Muslim converted to Christianity, a man once made a child soldier and slave, leads a major naval power in what appears to be a fully assimilated and enlightened racial environment in Venice – until his sexuality crosses a boundary that stirs latent hatreds and xenophobic fears of the ‘other’. And once away, isolated on a remote military base in occupied Cyprus – a land girt by sea and fractured with insoluble cultural tensions - a trusted soldier will work away at the certainty of his commander like an irresistible tide. Othello is saturated with references to water and light. Oceanic mystery and the control of what we see in the light and what we fear in the darkness are the poet’s chief imaginative devices and sources of metaphor in this study of marriage, love, sex, persuasion and the illusion of loyalty.

‘Heaven me such uses send. Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend.’

Please be aware that William Shakespeare’s Othello features domestic violence, suicide and issues of hate speech and racial vilification that may be triggering. For assistance or guidance if facing such issues in your life, contact All Together Now, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

All tickets $28

7pm 13 April 

Seymour Centre

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7pm 24 & 25 May

Riverside Theatres

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