British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Othello (1982): Cheek By Jowl
PRINCIPAL CAST: Barbara Brann (Emilia); Andrew Collins (Cassio); Ruddy L. Davis (Othello) Amanda Harris (Desdemona); Geoffrey Morgan (Iago); Doyle Richmond (Othello).
Two actors played Othello in this production, according to World Shakespeare Bibliography; the time frame for each of them is currently unknown. Doyle Richmond is listed as, presumably, the original Othello in the programme on Cheek By Jowl's website. Richmond likely left the production to join the Royal Shakespeare Company and was replaced by Ruddy L. Davis as Othello for the remainder of the tour.
The first performance of this production took place at the Fermoy Centre, King's Lynn on 22 September 1982.
"We think of Othello as a play on a grand scale. But it is also a very intimate tragedy - or rather tragedies, since every principal character (including Iago) has his or her own. Simply staged and spoken at conversational level, this little production by the touring Cheek By Jowl company may lose the grandeur and most of the poetry, but its direct focus on those individual tragedies makes it one of the most harrowing Othellos I have ever seen. In contrast to most black Othellos, Ruddy L. Davis is modest of stature, a gentle little teddybear whose insecurity, his secret doubt whether he is really loved by such a beautiful, sexy, witty girl as Amanda Harris's Desdemona, gives Iago his chance....The modern military setting pays rich dividents in distinguising rank or class....Mr Davis plays this last great scene on his rawest emotions. The words are not always clear or commandingly handled; he cannot rise to the great speeches..." ~ Anthony Masters, "Othello: New End", The Times, 24 March 1983
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