Ex-Eastender makes theatre debut

(Left to right) Moses Hardwick who plays Iago, Belinda Owusu who plays Desdemona, and Craig Pinder who plays Othello
(Left to right) Moses Hardwick who plays Iago, Belinda Owusu who plays Desdemona, and Craig Pinder who plays Othello
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Belinda Owusu may not ring a bell, but Libby Fox, the ill-fated teenager who we last saw heading off to Oxford University in Eastenders, probably does.

The 22-year-old actress is making her stage debut in Othello, at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton from September 14 – 17.

Playing the character of Desdemona, who is killed by her fiance in the Shakespearean tragedy, the play is run by The Nuffield & Yellowtale Theatre and is Belinda’s first notable role since leaving the famous soap.

She says: ‘Rehearsals are going well. It’s a mixture of terror and excitement.

‘I think when I was in Eastenders we didn’t have extensive rehearsal time so it’s nice to spend three weeks on one piece of material.’

After winning a scholarship and studying at the Anna Fiorentini Theatre and Film School, Belinda got the role of Libby Fox in Eastenders at just 17 years-old.

After playing the character for four years, she won the GUBA Rising Star Award in 2010.

But for all her experience, Belinda is especially nervous about her stage debut.

She explains: ‘It’s very nerve–wracking in any job you do because you want to make everybody proud. But it’s different from anything that I’m used to.

It’s a great experience at the end of the day, and you’re putting in a lot of work.’

Othello is a tragedy written by Shakespeare around 1603, and revolves around four central characters; Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian Army, his wife Desdemona, his lieutenant Cassio and his friend Iago.

Regularly performed by amateur and professional acting companies alike, the play has themes of racism, love, jealousy and betrayal.

Having been adapted into an opera, a ballet and a film, the character of Desdemona is particularly popular among actresses, and was played by Margaret Hughes, the first actress to appear on a public English stage.

Belinda says: ‘It doesn’t really end well for my character but I just thought, “well I haven’t done any stage work before.”’ To start off doing something like Shakespeare is amazing.

‘If all stage is like this, I think I’ll do more in the future.’

Nuffield Theatre, Southampton is also putting on a second Shakespearean play days after Othello, with Macbeth being performed by Winchester based company, Platform 4, between September 20 – 22.

The theatre are offering 25% off ticket prices when booking both productions.

Othello tickets cost £10 from Nuffield Theatre, Southampton on (023) 8031 5500 or visit nuffieldtheatre.co.uk.