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Review: Othello @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

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I’m always grateful to live in a city as culturally rich as London, with its multitude of galleries, arts centres and theatres. This week I got the chance to see Ellen McDougall’s production of Othello, a play I am studying for my English Literature A-Level, at the Globe’s candlelit indoor theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. For anyone that doesn’t know the play, it tells the story of Othello, a black soldier who, with his military achievements, is generally accepted in Venetian society despite his race. However that all changes when he marries Desdemona, a young white noblewoman, and his ‘loyal’ ensign Iago begins to plant seeds of doubt in his friend’s mind about Desdemona’s relationship with Othello’s lieutenant Cassio. Exploring the destructive power of jealousy, as well as the racial and gender stereotypes of the Jacobean era when Shakespeare was writing, the tragedy is still as relevant now as it was 400 years ago, as was highlighted in McDougall’s adaption. This updated versi…