British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Othello (1966): Malvern Festival Theatre
CAST INCLUDED: Nicholas Stuart Gray (Iago); Nerissa Knights (Desdemona); Josephine Stuart (Emilia); Rudolph Walker (Othello); Malcolm Young (Cassio).
This production ran from 15-26 February 1966.
"The strong passions and sinister plotting of Shakespeare's great tragedy Othello, played out in a sultry atmosphere where there seems to be more half-light than full day, now hold sway at the Festival Theatre, where only a short while ago we were watching the sportive drolleries and romantic adventures of a sunny Elizabethan afternoon. The completeness of the change is a measure of the company's achievement. Othello, the Moor in the service of Venice, is played by the coloured actor, Rudolph Walker. A striking figure, with a fine voice, Mr. Walker has obviously analysed most carefully this character, who is so conspired against. This honest soldier succumbs to doubt and despair. Mr. Walker does not spare himself in the enactment of the unfeigned joy of his marriage and of the tagic rages which finally destroy him and his bride Desdemona. His Moor is noble throughout, even when he is ruined....The permanent setting, representing an Elizabethan playhouse, is used again, and once more it demonstrates its versatility and practical value. Recourse to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for costumes has been repeated." ~ G.M., "Fires of passion are kindled in Othello", Malvern Gazette, 17 February 1966, p. 1
"Second production of the schools season at the Festival, Othello, is notable for introducing the coloured actor, Rudolph Walker as the Moor. Mr. Walker is patently imbued with a deep reverence for the role and approaches it with intensity and sincerity. But while achieving considerable overt identification with the Moor he fails, nevertheless, to get very far below the surface of a character. Iago is played by Nicholas Stuart Gray with drive and force as a smiling villain with no marked subtleties. Narissa Knights is an excellent Desdemona, finding her way immediately into the part from her first entrance and developing it progressively thereafter. Malcolm Young treats Cassio straightforwardly, Ian Lindsay provides us with an interesting study as Roderigo, and Josephine Stuart's Emilia is a sound, useful reading. Lee Fox appears briefly and effectively as Brabantio and Lennard Pearce authoritatively brings the piece to a close as Lodovico." ~ The Stage and Television Today, 24 February 1966, p. 16
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