Fluellen Theatre Company’s new production was performed at the Swansea Grand from the 7th-9th of November.
A white cloth is laid out on the floor, covering the figures of Othello and Desdemona. A light shines down onto the stage and the figures rise, embracing, while a menacing Iago appears, scowling at them from the shadows at the back of the set.
Despite a few fluffed lines the performances from the actors were captivating. Sule Rimi played the titular role with power, authority, and the undertones of naivety that are necessary to convey the character’s weaknesses as he is played into the hands of the cunning Iago, portrayed by Nick Richards. As two-faced as the Janus he mentions in his opening soliloquy, Richards was sinister and disturbing as the lead antagonist and convincing in the influence his character holds over Othello throughout the play.
The closing scenes brought out the best in all performers. Overlooking the sleeping Desdemona, played by Jessica Sandry, Othello delivers his soliloquy to an enthralled audience, building up to the violence of the scene where he strangles his own wife. The final scene, where Othello lies beside the body of his wife to have a white sheet placed over them while the rest of the stage is cleared, was a nice touch.
Thanks to director Peter Richards and the rest of Fluellen Theatre company this challenging piece was executed with professional skill and had the audience captivated from start to finish. With a stand-out cast, attention to detail and fluidity between scenes, this was a highly commendable performance.
by Emma Startin
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