Friday, 17 April 2009

Lenny Henry is a powerful Othello

It is a long time since I've seen anyone getting such rapturous applause as the Othello cast received at Bath's Theatre Royal last night. Lenny Henry is an extraordinarily powerful Othello, giving the role the emotion and physicality it demands with great gusto, supported by an excellent cast from the Northern Broadsides/West Yorkshire Playhouse company. The cast includes a suitably villainous Conrad Nelson as Iago, a heartrending Jessica Harris as a dimunitive, naive and terrified Desdemona and a powerful finale from Maeve Larkin as Emilia. Othello is a gripping and compelling play, yet too often Shakespeare can be drily presented on stage. This production shows what can be done with a great director and an imaginative cast.

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