n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - Back to basics : Abrahamse and Meyer's digestible Othello : Othello at Maynardville
|Article Title||Back to basics : Abrahamse and Meyer's digestible Othello : Othello at Maynardville|
|© Publisher:||Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)|
|Journal||Shakespeare in Southern Africa|
|Affiliations||1 University of Cape Town|
|Publication Date||Jan 2015|
|Pages||47 - 52|
After a fourteen-year absence, Othello has returned to Maynardville in a competent and often enjoyable staging by Abrahamse and Meyer Productions, directed by Fred Abrahamse and with Marcel Meyer as set designer, costume designer, verse coach and in the role of Iago. A departure from their colorful, at times overwrought Midsummer Night's Dream of 2013, this Othello is meat and potatoes Shakespeare; while most elements of the production are at least competently done, and the high quality of the cast keeps one engrossed in the story, there is little here that is especially innovative. The primary goal of this production seems to be making the text as accessible as possible. Writing for the Daily Maverick, Marianne Thamm provides a clue as to why this might be. She describes how Abrahamse and Meyer initially approached the Artscape Theatre Centre and "secured an agreement to produce Othello for the theatre's schools programme, due to take place later in 2015". Budgetary constraints resulted in the school show and the annual Maynardville show being "collapsed into one production", which may explain why this year's Othello feels more suited to newcomers to Shakespeare than to the seasoned Maynardville faithful.
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