A modern adaptation of Othello is touring the UK, bringing trademark energy and vitality.

The production, from Frantic Assembly, blends movement and text, often with frantic results.

 Claustrophobic from the start, this production transports Othello and Desdemona from sixteenth-century Venice to a shabby Yorkshire pub, the walls red and muddy as if saturated with dirty blood.

An unrelenting, somewhat mind-numbing, baseline pummels through the speakers to introduce audience members to the now criminal Othello and his crew of loyal followers.

Daily Echo:

Some may decry the robbing of his title of general, but they need not fear as Shakespeare’s language is preserved. If the change in uniform makes you uncomfortable, then ask yourself why?

Men wield pool cues and knives with phallic gusto, performers jump over, under, and across one another, every step a blur between connection and contact like a perfectly choreographed football match.

As much a dance as it is a play, the approach to movement direction allows for violence without violence, sex without sex.

Daily Echo:

It is wonderfully expressive without being gratuitous, and the love scene between Othello and Desdemona on the pool table is particularly powerful.

So collaborative is Frantic’s theatre making style, they’ve successfully transformed a play about a jealous husband into a real ensemble piece – five members of the company are graduates of their Ignition talent programme.

This tour is well-pitched to appeal to young tastes, especially students of the arts or dance, but it’s by no means limited - Shakespeare has no limits.

Daily Echo:

The show is touring at Yvonne Arnaud Guildford, Oxford Playhouse, The Lowry Salford Quays, Mast Mayflower Studios Southampton, Worthing Theatre, before concluding at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London from 19 January until 11 February 2023.

You can get tickets here.