St Davids College

Othello 3

London Theatre Trip - Othello

Published: 18.01.2023 ( a year ago )

On Wednesday, Year 13 English A Level pupils travelled to London to watch ‘Othello’ at the National Theatre on the South Bank.

Clint Dyer’s modern and insightful interpretation of the renowned Shakespeare play asked new questions to its contemporary audience:

‘A new vision does come though, breathtakingly so.’ (the Guardian)

The open set greeted its audience while a cleaner scrubbed the floor of blood from the previous performance. Posters of old productions of ‘Othello’ were projected onto a simple contemporary set of many steps by which the actors would take their entrances and exits under simple subdued lighting. The yea 1604 was also projected, moving forwards and backwards to 2023.

It was dark, gritty and wholly relevant for its current audience. The themes of jealousy and violence were explored to a shocking extent, portraying the three central women as victims of abuse and control in a patriarchal society. The characters and ensemble (named ‘system’, often representing the inner turmoil of the ‘hero’ and the dark machinations of the ‘antagonist’) embraced Dyer’s fresh and shocking interpretation magnificently. We were all in agreement that Paul Hilton’s portrayal of Iago was truly outstanding.

The pupils returned to class with an engaging new energy that has inspired countless opinions, questions and theories. This confirms the age-old adage that Shakespeare was written to be performed and viewed, or as Sir Ian McKellen so eloquently puts it: “They should see him in the theatre!” Only then can the true impact of his works be appreciated in their entirety.