Sunday, 26 January 2014

Raymond Chandler Meets Othello at Riverside Studios

Imagine if Othello had been written by Raymond Chandler and that's more or less what you'll get if you go see this Orangutan production at Riverside Studios directed by Rebekah Fortune. Actually, a 1940s classic noir is what this production aspires to but alas does not quite bring off. That said, it's fun to watch what works and doesn't work in a pretty uneven production. The costumes, set, and soundtrack are good--except for the very weak opening sultry nightclub number; a good idea badly executed--as are most of the performances, if uneven. Stephan Adegbola as Othello aquit himself well enough but showed none of the inner torture of either Shakespeare's Moor or any of Chandler's anguished men. Peter Lloyd's Iago was worthy of a good B-noir but not of Chandler or Shakespeare. Gillian Saker's Desdemona belonged in a pre-Raphaelite saga not in a lurid tale of jealousy run amok. I appreciated that the play was shortened to just two hours. I can't say you must run see it, but if you do you won't be completely disappointed.

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