Othello (2007): Glasgow Repertory Company, Glasgow Botanic Gardens
CAST INCLUDED (from Theatre Record): Paul Cunningham (Iago); Lisa Gardner (Desdemona); John Macaulay (Othello); Beth Marshall (Emilia).
This production ran from 19 July - 4 August 2007. The principal cast also appeared in Gordon Barr's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, also staged in the summer of 2007 at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
"[The production] plays the text faithfully enough to reveal a lot of angry men, but never explains how they worked themselves up into such a state. The play is strong enough to survive such a one-dimensional approach, so it's revealed as a straight, no-frills political thriller....John Macaulay makes for a noble enough Othello, though it's Cunningham who's having the most fun, even indulging in what sounded like panto villain cackling in the play's final moments." ~ Neil Cooper, Herald, 23 July 2007, in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 15
"Year-on-year, the Rep appears to attract better actors to its ranks, and to a certain extent Gordon Barr's modern-dress production of Othello is no exception. Any roll-call of Scotland's finest stage actors woud have to include Beth Marshall (who doubles as a feminised duke and Iago's wife Emilia) and Paul Cunningham (Iago)....The rest of the cast, however, is uneven. John Macaulay (Othello) made a stuttering start on opening night, although both he and Lisa Gardner (Desdemona) improved noticeably throughout the evening. One can't help but feel that a large part of Macaulay's problem is the accent (presumably intended to be north African) that has been imposed upon him. There is a logic to requiring the actor playing Othello to adopt a brogue which is not his own; it emphasises the Moor's status as a revered outsider who is open to the xenophobic resentments of dishonourable men. The fact remains, however, when a lead actor struggles with an accent, the production suffers along with him." ~ Mark Brown, Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2007 in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 15
"It is John Macaulay's Othello, however, who dominates the stage, with a clear sense of the man's authoritatitve bearing and magnetic aura. He captures these dimensions well but, despite a strong, resonant voice, he doesn't give full rein to Othello's gift for storytellling. Despite his self-deprecating remarks to the contrary, the Moor is a mine of vivd anecdotes - it was these, we learn, that won him the heart of Desdemona. And, although Lisa Gardner gives a winning, well-spoken account of the wronged bride, there's little evidence in her interaction with Macaulay of the couple's all-consuming animal passion. Perhaps that accounts for the sniggers when he begins to mutter about uxoricide." ~ Andrew Burnet, Scotsman, 27 July 2007, in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 15
"If the presentation trundles along, with little sense of direction and pace (the modern-day military dress, for instance, is left unsupported by any discernible directorial concept), the fault lies not only with dodgy acting. John Macaulay has proved himself an able actor in the past, but on opening night he made a difficult start in the title role. His Othello tripped over a number of lines early on, and although Macaulay regained his composure admirably, the actor seemed uncomfortable with the accent (presumably intended to sound north African) which had been forced upon him. Actors take a lot of stick for their travails with accents, but Barr must accept his share of the responsibility for putting an unprepared actor onto the stage, speaking in an 'outsider's' brogue which seems, in any case, to be gratuitous." ~ Mark Brown, Sunday Herald, 29 July 2007, in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 15