Review: Othello at Kings Theatre, Southsea

The Kite Runner is at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until Saturday.

REVIEW: The Kite Runner at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

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For the second year running, Icarus Theatre is premiering its Autumn tour at the Kings Theatre.

I was distinctly underwhelmed by last year’s Romeo and Juliet and went along to Othello hoping for good things.

Director Max Lewendel has assembled a cast of actor/musicians and the emphasis clearly seemed to be on musicianship more than acting – but as we’re tackling one of the four Great Tragedies of Shakespeare, this may have been a misjudgment.

Few of the cast had the measure of the language and many of them forewent any subtlety to play the emotions on a mammoth level; the entire cast, likewise, were prone to meaningless gestures to punctuate language they seemed not fully to understand, with mispronunciations and odd emphases peppering the performance.

The instruments, carried for the vast majority of the performance, often intrude, and the sight of Cassio (Julian Pindar) in the final scene, gasping in pain, was almost laughable.