SHAKESPEARE: Othello (Johannesburg Market Theatre, 1988) (NTSC) (Johannesburg Market Theatre) (Arthaus Dvd: 103001)
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The 'Othello' presented here is a controversial and powerful interpretation of Shakespeare's tragedy by South African-born actress Janet Suzman. The production was a first in many respects: it marked Janet Suzman's debut as a director for both stage and television; and it saw the first time an African actor has been cast in the title role, opposite a white actress as Desdemona, in a major production of the play, performed in front of a multi-racial audience in South Africa.
The production proved an enormous success from its first performance at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg - one of the few multi-racial venues in South Africa in 1987, provoking strong reactions from the audiences and wider community. It features Tony Award-winner John Kani as Othello and Joanna Weinberg as Desdemona, in a production that was fresh, raw and all the more powerful for the context in which it was performed.
Also included is a brief contextual introduction written and presented by Janet Suzman, explaining how this production came about and the significance of Shakespeare's great tragedy for South Africa at that time.
\...remarkable. A powerful production" 'Daily Mail'
"....refreshingly clear and gripping" 'The Independent'
"....a production that made you rethink Othello - and marvel once again at how Shakespeare can never be out of fashion". 'The Listener'"