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Othello

National theatre

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#101 Latecomer

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:09 PM

Thought some of the director's choces worked and some didn't. Liked the office settig for Othello and Iago's chat and Rory, lurking behind his laptop. Didn't like the "lounging in a director chair" for Desdemona and Emilia. For me the casual opening of a tinny then didn't quite get the mood right. Also thought the bed was annoying.....the placement made it feel as though the actors were having to work too hard to be seen. It hampered the whole thing and meant we couldn't see bits and bobs. Also felt it was a shame at times that, with such a huge stage to work with, they insisted on bringing on a very small box to put all the action in.....but I liked the arrival on the island framed by all the concrete. Have objections to the use of guns rather than knives....not easy to get the same close up drama and you didn't really get the sense that Iago enjoyed the killing, and was *shock horror* a little disappointed by Rory in the last couple of minutes. But overall, despite this, was a fun production that was easy to understand and I enjoyed some of the verse speaking. I think they slipped in the odd modern word ....I'm sure one soldier called another "mate" at one point.....


#102 peggs

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:37 PM

View Postmallardo, on 12 May 2013 - 03:17 PM, said:

Re the laughter - and to be fair to the audience - Rory Kinnear, with his droll delivery, does play many of his asides for laughs - and he's a genuinely funny guy.  He and Roderigo were virtually a comedy team.
I agree those scenes made sense that people found them funny, it was the being played straight why are people laughing at a man destroying himself ones that threw me.

#103 Nicholas

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:44 AM

This was very good, but I would hesitate to throw all the superlatives at it.  My godmother said she thought the setting made it soap-opera-y and thus less tragic and I don’t quite agree but I suppose that might be the thing on which I can’t quite put my finger.  I really liked a lot of this, but didn’t love all of it.  Adrian Lester was brilliant and Rory Kinnear was brilliant and the women made something of quite small women’s parts.  It certainly didn’t feel like 3 and a half hours.  A friend a while back asked me what the greatest Shakespeare production I’d seen was and for a moment some way in I thought I might leave saying this.  But (this might be a problem inherent in the play, my last experience of it was the opera some 8 months ago) some spark seemed dimmed in the second half.  Wasn’t it a treat to have Rory Kinnear and Adrian Lester, during the manipulation scenes, bouncing off each other with aplomb?  “I like that not” led to theatrical tension cuttable with a knife and the fit scene was beautifully underplayed.  Perhaps after that everything else seemed less in comparison.  I think some of the smaller parts weren’t as good and perhaps it’s that it Lester’s Othello wouldn’t be so quick to accuse and seemed to settle on doubt and murder far sooner than the Othello of the boardroom would have.  The trajectory of act I was that Othello, an intellectual soldier, has his mind corrupted slowly by his friend honest Iago to believe the wife he speechifies for may be less than virtuous, and I believed in that.  The trajectory of act II was that Othello wanted to kill Desdemona, and then did, and I didn't.  I’m being bloody picky though because I’d safely give this four stars and the family would (I think) have given it five.

#104 mallardo

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:46 AM

It's interesting, Nicholas, that you describe Othello as "intellectual" - for this is exactly how Adrian Lester plays him.  And that was the problem for me.  Othello, as written, is an ex-slave who has clawed his way to the top by his innate military prowess.  But, at the top, he is an uncultivated misfit and he feels it.  He knows he lacks the smoothness and subtlety of the politicians and officers who surround him. He loves Desdemona, he says, because she hero worships him.  She can't get enough of his exploits.  She is a salve to his shaky ego.  

Hence her perceived betrayal is not so much about sexual jealousy as ego deflation. This, to me, is why he falls so easily for Iago's traps. He is on unsteady ground to begin with.  And while it was great fun watching two very talented actors go at it, I just didn't believe that THIS Othello, this smooth, smart guy, would be so quickly fooled.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#105 theatrejunkie

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:54 AM

Hey guys. i going to try and get tickets for this when it comes out. Are there any restricted views in the olivier circle or can i pick anywhere?

#106 Lynette

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:28 AM

Everywhere should be ok! But try as much in the middle as possible.

#107 theatrejunkie

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:50 AM

i booked centre seats in block b. will i need a neck brace or is the view fine from here? The photo pic was quite inconclusive so would like opinion of those who have sat in this role before

btw thanks lynette for the above reply

#108 KevinUK

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:47 PM

The Oliver circle is really very good from any angle - I've sat there many a time.
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#109 theatrejunkie

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:15 AM

Circle is fanatstic. Have sat in back role of the circle many a time and have no complaints

The ones i got were block b in the stalls. I bit the bullet and phoned national and they said you will be ok as its othello but amen corner would be severely restricted

#110 Latecomer

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:29 AM

Do you mean row B? I sat there for Othello and it was a superb view...recommended.





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