I’m gonna do a theatre review, because in this new democratised world I have every right to tell you what I think about Othello at London’s Donmar Warehouse and my review is as valid as the next mans’. Well not really of course. I did study literature at University (though you may indeed think that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing) and this is the first time I have seen Othello since the early 1980s so my powers of comparison and knowledge of the latest thinking on Iago’s motiveless malignity are a bit off, but I do want to tell you that despite the mixed press reviews this a fab thing to see and if you have to sell your granny to get a ticket do.
Ewan McGregor gives an understated portrait of Iago who is the most fascinatingly evil character in English literature. The BBC have a handy summary of press reviews here. But if you must read something, go to the core text. Here’s one of Iago’s soliloquies and I can still quote this word for word and am happy to be tested. Rote learning…..that’s how old I am.
Thus do I ever make my fool my purse:
For I mine own gain’d knowledge should profane,
If I would time expend with such a snipe.
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor:
And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if’t be true;
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;
The better shall my purpose work on him.
Cassio’s a proper man: let me see now:
To get his place and to plume up my will
In double knavery–How, how? Let’s see:–
After some time, to abuse Othello’s ear
That he is too familiar with his wife.
He hath a person and a smooth dispose
To be suspected, framed to make women false.
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.
I have’t. It is engender’d. Hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.
[tags] Othello, Ewan McGregor, Iago [/tags]
PS: Spell check really does not like Shakespearian English