Directed by Matt Edgerton
Written by William Shakespeare
June 14, 2013 to June 29, 2013
An oceanic Othello with a surprising cross-cultural cast
Sport For Jove Theatre company brings its award-winning blend of passionate storytelling and inventive theatricality to Shakespeare’s story of shifting surfaces, depths and reflections. Performed by some of Australia’s finest actors, this is a rare opportunity to see Othello up close in all its elemental force.
Following the massive success of Hamlet in the York Theatre, playing to 8000 people in just two weeks, Sport for Jove Theatre extends its relationship with the Seymour Centre this month, with a new season of Shakespeare’s Othello, from June 14 -29.
Director Matt Edgerton, and designer Marissa Dale-Johnson, bring a flood of water into the Reginald Theatre for Shakespeare’s tale of sensual obsession and jealousy. This innovative new production combines SFJ’s trademark textual clarity and storytelling with a powerfully abstract setting – an ancient pool of water on a remote military base in an occupied country where a trusted soldier will work away at the certainty of his commander like an irresistible tide.
Othello, easily Shakespeare’s most relentless and tightly compressed thriller, is saturated with references to water. Oceanic mystery is the poet’s chief imaginative device and source of metaphor in this study of marriage, love, sex, persuasion and the illusion of loyalty.
No Shakespeare play offers a more modern sensibility or X-ray of contemporary political tensions. A former Muslim, enlisted as a child soldier at the age of 7, now leads a Christian naval force in what appears to be a fully assimilated and enlightened racial environment – until his sexuality crosses a boundary that stirs latent hatreds and xenophobic fears of the ‘other’. Venice, a city resting precariously on its own watery grave, and Cyprus, a frontier surrounded by enemies and a hostile ocean, are the battlefields on which Iago will carry out an act of terrorism on his fellow men and women.
Directed by Matt Edgerton and with an outstanding ensemble featuring Ivan Donato, Julia Ohannessian, Amy Mathews, Anthony Gooley, Damien Ryan, Scott Sheridan, Nick Papademetriou and Isaro Kayitesi, the production continues SFJ’s dedication to ‘colour-blind’ casting with an inspiring multicultural group of storytellers.
“The play is so much more than a study of racial prejudice”, says Edgerton, “and it is interesting and exciting to examine an audiences’ expectations and perceptions of the notion of ‘difference’.”
(No director's note available for this production)
Photography by Seiya Taguchi
Amy Mathews | Bianca, Duchess, Second Gentleman
Anthony Gooley | Rodorigo, First Gentleman
Damien Ryan | Iago
Isaro Kayitesi | Desdemona
Ivan Donato | Othello
Julia Ohannessian | Emilia / Second Senator / Cyprus Gent
Nicholas Papademetriou | Brabantio/Montano/Lodovico
Scott Sheridan | Cassio / First Senator
David Stalley | Sound Design / Videography
Francesca Savige | Assistant Director
Jess Penny | Stage Manager
Lynne Stalley | Production Manager
Marissa Dale-Johnson | Set & Costume Design
Matt Cox | Lighting Designer
Matt Edgerton | Director
Nick Catran | Set Construction
Scott Witt | Fight Director / Movement