Othello (1995): Wooden O Productions, Bridewell Theatre, London
CAST INCLUDED: Debra Beaumont (Desdemona); Guy Burgess (Othello); Rupert Wickham (Iago).
This production ran from 18 October - 11 November 1995. Casting information taken from reviews; no programme has been located as of yet. The advertising leaflet holds information about the theatre company: "Wooden 'O' Productions is a new company founded by Guy Burgess and Rupert Wickham, two experienced classical actors whose credits include The English Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court, The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, where they met playing Benvolio and Mercutio together in Dame Judi Dench's production of Romeo and Juliet. In this their first production, they have engaged the services of director Christopher Geelan and designer Bridget Kimak, whose previous collaborations have been praised for their bold and imaginative treatment of classical plays"
"How heroic is Othello? Like Toby Stephens as Coriolanus, Guy Burgess makes a strikingly young noble Moor in Wooden O's debut production of Shakespeare's domestic tragedy. With Rupert Wickham as Iago, he has gathered a formidably talented company to help him do justice to the honourable soldiering wife-murderer. Initially the odds are against him. It's no Colin Powell (nor OJ Simpson for that matter) who's dispatched by the Venetian state against the Turk. But Burgess's slight mulatto General is well offset by Wickham's wide-boy drug-dealer of an Iago, whose crop-headed loathing seems genuine enough, although his enthusiastic cunning later is less convincing. But then as the play rapidly clouds over, Burgess goggles plausibly at the products of his poisoned imagination while Debra Beaumont's cocky innocence as Desdemona more than withstands his progressively corrupted attention. By judicious cutting, director Christopher Geelan sustains the steadily accelerating pace of action on Bridge Kimak's beautifully simple set, making imaginative use of the Bridewell's potential. But the problem of Othello's youth recurs in the fatal bedchamber: with no real faith in Othello's official position, it's hard to interpret his blood-lust as more than unhinged irascibility. Like one of those rub-down transfers on a battle-scene panorama, he ends up seeming remote from the colourful and impressively confident staging of his own history." ~ Charles Godfrey-Faussett, Time Out, 25 October 1995