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RSC's Othello to head to Trafalgar Studios

Preview by Jack Foley

THE Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed production of Othello is to launch the new Trafalgar Studios, in London’s West End, when it finishes its current run in Stratford.

The production, held to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s tragedy, opened on February 18, at Stratford’s Swan Theatre, and features two South African actors, one black and one white, playing the leads of Othello and Iago for the first time in the UK.

Its West End-run will be directed by Gregory Doran, who is currently overseeing All’s Well That Ends Well at the Gielgud Theatre, starring Dame Judi Dench.

Playing the eponymous hero, is Sello Maake ka Ncube, while Anthony Sher takes on Iago. They previously worked together with Doran on Titus Andronicus, in 1995, at the Market Theatre. in Johannesburg, South Africa.

They will be joined by Lisa Dillon, as Desdemona, as well as Charles Abomeli, Barry Aird, Justin Avoth, Ken Bones, Peter Bramhill, Vincent Brimble, Edward Clayton, Jonathan Duff, Mark Lockyer, Paul O’Mahony, Clifford Rose, Nathalie Armin, Amanda Harris and Viss Elliott.

The production of Othello will also mark the launch of the new Trafalgar Studios, a 350-seat space carved from the existing 646-seat Whitehall Theatre.

The Whitehall was closed indefinitely last Summer, by its owner, the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), and despite a brief revival last year, has been dark ever since.

Planning permission has subsequently been approved to redesign the theatre’s interior, to create the two new studio spaces, the other being approximately 100 seats.

Following its London season, the production will then transfer to Japan for a limited five-week tour.

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