Four hundred years later and I can go to one of Shakespeare’s plays and feel the themes are current.
The Guardian and Telegraph reviewers were right. Brilliant setting. The staging in the concrete bunkers – chilling.
Adrian Lester was a larger than life, Othello. Rory Kinnear played the kind of Iago that let the audience know how hateful and dangerous he was.
Nicholas Hytner, the director, gave a pre-performance interview with Emma Freud. I will know him anywhere. Soft spoken voice, his eyelids, like perfect round awnings – how theatrical is that!
Kate Waters, the fight director was interviewed after the 15 minute break. The fight scene had the woman next to me, an old English Teacher colleague of Kelvins, laughing. And the beer-drinking party was also typical. Lots of dares over alcohol.
I was glad to see the half time interview with the clips showing us how fight-director could get so many men into such a small space and have them choreographed so that they could appear to be having such a big fight. Her head-butting demo made me think I didn’t want to meet her in a dark alley.
The military director, Jonathan Shaw, pointed out that Rory Kinnear’s refusal to follow rules about dressing in correct military clothing was consistent with Iago’s character – military people who see the show comment that it is too bad he didn’t have on the correct uniform, which the military director concedes and then says, “That is the point – he is Iago.”
Kelvin’s favorite part of the show: the overall acting, especially the beginnings of Iago’s manipulations of Othello into a jealous rage. That was a breathtaking scene. He adds that the changing of sets was so smoothly done – seamless. A pleasure to watch.
Arta’s favourite part of the show: Emilia and Desdemona in the final act of the play – especially loved the ripping off of the old bedsheets and putting on Desdemona’s marriage sheets.
Gloria Dalton’s (Kelvin’s colleague) favorite part of the show? At the half she said, I have taught this play so many times to Grade XII English classes. Today the declamation of the lines made sense for me of sentences I have sometimes worried about.
What is next?
MacBeth: Oct 17, October 19, 23
Coriolanus: January 30, February 22
National Theatre 50 Years on Stage: November 2
War Horse: 2014
Frankenstein: both versions will be broadcast
Richard II: November 13
Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along from London's West End: November 7. I have read the Guardian's review on this show. Looks like a show not to be missed. So nice to know we can see it in a local theatre. Beats the cost of flying to London to see it.