Othello (2010): Ludlow Festival
CAST INCLUDED: Damien Matthews (Cassio); Michael Mueller (Iago); Christopher Obi (Othello); Emily Pennant-Rea (Desdemona)
The V&A Theatre and Performance archive information states this production ran from 26 June - 10 July 2010. Casting information culled from reviews. No programme has been located as of yet.
"For the annual Shakespeare at the Ludlow Festival the audience sits in the inner courtyard surrounded by what remains of the castle's walls and towers. The stage is up against the best preserved of these but it has recently become a custom to obscure the masonry with an enormous object. This year, in Philip Witcomb's conception, it is a vast gilded baroque picture frame tilted askey against a frozen cascade of army bedsteads....Ben Crocker's workmanlike production sets the events at the time of the Crimean War - poke-bonnets for the women, a brown bowler for the civilian Roderigo....Christopher Obi begins by playing the doomed hero as one who trusts - another key word - everything to be what it seems. Only after he has strangled his wife, urged to do so by an erotically charged Iago, does he learn too late of his error." ~ Jeremy Kingston, The Times, 1 July 2010
"One thing's clear, though: Ben Crocker's revival of Othello only comes into its own during Act Five....Obi, for too long here an actor who simply looks the martial part and sounds the verse with a steady sonority, visibly crumples and twists beneath all that outward manly grace. The anguish and savagery of his jealousy explode across the stage; and then the aftershock hits as the unjust, demented and irreversible nature of his violence dawns on him." ~ Dominic Cavendish, "The light go down and the action hots up" [sic], Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2010
"That long, chaotic fifth act exposes the vocal limitations of Christopher Obi's otherwise lithe and plausible Moorish general, as well as the under-populated backgrounds of Ben Crocker's production; the Cypriot harbour and streets seem as desolate as a wet Wednesday in Bognor Regis." ~ Michael Coveney, The Independent, 1 July 2010