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‘OTHELLO’ AT LEICESTER’S CURVE THEATRE – REVIEW

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An award-winning and electrifying take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Othello is an intense and magnetic show which you don’t want to miss at Leicester’s Curve.

This classic Shakespearean tale of of paranoia, sex and murder, is showing at the theatre until October 1 – injected with a fresh new energy, courtesy of Frantic Assembly.

The award winning theatre company have bought William Shakespeare’s tale kicking and screaming into the modern age, complete with dramatic street dancing, snooker tables and smouldering sensuality throughout.

Leicester Time: OTHELLO AT CURVE - REVIEW
Picture: Tristram Kenton

All of the actors on stage are dressed in casual leisure wear, and deliver their lines in a range of regional accent rather than the standard Received Pronunciation, you’d expect from Shakespeare.

In this story, Othello is portrayed as the black, tracksuit clad leader of a gang, rather than a Venetian General (as per the original text).

The majority of the play takes place inside a run-down pub, where the characters drink, play pool and generally lead a carefree existence.

It is here where Othello’s passionate affair with the beautiful Desdemona, becomes the catalyst for jealousy, betrayal, revenge and the darkest intents…

Michael Akinsulire plays the part of Othello with a powerful intensity, which is almost verging on frightening at times – especially when he becomes suspicious of Desdemona’s infidelity.

As he paces the stage, spitting his lines, you can’t help but be magnetised by his strong and muscular presence – eyes bulging with wild abandon.

His character stands in stark contrast to the delicate, and almost weightless Desdemona, who is played wonderfully by Chanel Waddock.

Leicester Time: OTHELLO AT CURVE - REVIEW
Picture: Tristram Kenton

The dance sequences the pair performed together were simply exquisite – intimate, graceful and wonderfully sensual in their delivery.

Other dance sequences were more explosive, with impressive acrobatic elements taking centre stage, together with slick modern street moves.

For me, these dance sequences were a real highlight of the play, with the stage really coming to life and getting the audience’s adrenaline pumping. The choice of music, also helped add lashings of drama to proceedings.

The delivery of the dialogue in this play was also something which I found fascinating and impressive, especially by Joe Layton, who played Iago – so many lines delivered impeccably.

Overall, I enjoyed the darkness, the drama and the passion of this piece, which was both captivating and intriguing from beginning to end. *****

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