Storm-tossed tale of bitter jealousy

The green-eyed monster rules in Shakespeare's Othello.
The green-eyed monster rules in Shakespeare's Othello.
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Tonight at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, Icarus Theatre Collective will premiere its production of Shakespeare’s Othello. Produced in tandem with the theatre,

it’s not the first time the company has performed the play.

Artistic director Max Lewendel says: ‘I love the play. We want to do plays that we enjoy and feel passionately about.

‘This is the second time we’ve done this one because I didn’t feel we were done the first time round.’

Othello, newly married to Desdemona who is half his age, is appointed leader of a military operation to defend Cyprus from the Turks.

Iago is passed over for promotion in favour of young Cassio, and persuades Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair.

Icarus is placing it in its traditional 16th century setting, but the company is adding some twists.

Max explains: ‘Each character will play a musical instrument and in our version there’s a real sense of the sea and storms.

‘We are using the original texts, but it’s an added element.’

He adds: ‘The set is a place between land and the sea. There’s themes of the navy and the sea throughout it.’

Part of the Icarus Theatre Collective’s aim is to make Shakespeare more accessible. Max says: ‘There’s more equality between genders in our play. We also want the audience to understand the language used.’

And working with the Kings Theatre, Southsea, again is a welcome part of the production process.

Max says: ‘They came to the production meeting and it’s been lovely to have them involved.

‘They let us use their fantastic theatre for technical rehearsals too. It’s a brilliant place.’

Tickets: £11.50 to £15 from the Kings Theatre, Southsea on (023) 9282 8282 or go to kings-southsea.com.