othello

23:46

I saw Othello at the National Theatre on Tuesday and it was absolutely brilliant. Adrian Lester as Othello was something else. I've only seen him on the telly in Hustle, but he's been amazingly good in that so I wasn't expecting anything less. It was just interesting to see him play such a different character to that of Mickey. The emotional range of Othello is nuts, but he played every single part of it with ease. I had seen Rory Kinnear in Hamlet a couple of years ago and was blown away by his acting abilities, and he didn't fail to disappoint as Iago. His comic timing is superb, and he is brilliant at combining both comedy and menace. All of the supporting cast were fantastic, but Olivia Vinall (Desdemona) and Lyndsey Marshal (Emilia) deserve a special mention. Their performances were brilliant. I applaud Shakespeare for allowing strong willed women to exist in his plays; misogyny may have been commonplace in the 1600s, but the character of Emilia doesn't show that it was the case.

I always love seeing Shakespeare in the theatre because, most of the time, I only have a vague idea of the storyline and so am relying on the dialogue to help me understand. But as the dialogue is Shakespearean, it's not as simple to understand as watching something which is spoken in modern English. I always find, though, that I understand everything that is going on; I laugh at the comedic parts and cry at the sad parts. I feel everything that the characters feel. I can truly understand why Shakespeare is still performed and taught today. Granted, when you see it performed it is much easier to understand than when taught as you can perceive what is going on through the emotions and actions of the performers, but I being taught it enables you to take things from it that you don't perhaps when just seeing it. Either way, seeing it in the theatre and leaving it feeling as though you totally understood everything and went on a journey with those characters is a brilliant feeling. Much the same as when I saw David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing, I felt like that. And the fact that they are such long plays never bothers me. The three and a half hours of this flew by. I am very grateful that I managed to get my hands on tickets. I was booking them while I was supposed to be paying attention in my English lesson - at least it was somewhat related!

An absolutely amazing production. The fact that it is Shakespeare helps, of course, but the acting was astonishing and the National always put on a fantastic show. Not quite as beautiful as Peter and Alice, but certainly heading in that direction. Fantastic.

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