Othello, this summer’s school play directed by Scott Handy and starring Will Atiomo as the titular tragic hero, was a truly mesmerising theatrical experience. The director describes the production as both “epic” and “intimate”; a fascinating thematic dichotomy portrayed with subtlety and charm by the varied and talented cast.

Will Atiomo was captivating as the lead hero, bringing an incredible vibrancy, confidence and physicality to the role. Shakesperean dialogue is difficult enough as it is to recite convincingly and with flare, let alone when attempted in a heavy Moorish accent, yet Will’s eloquent delivery, especially in times of great drama and internal conflict for Othello, perfectly captured the tragedy of the character; watching such a stalwart, well-respected general fall into the depths of uncontrollable envy and rage was a truly remarkable theatrical experience. Jude Martin was equally charismatic as Iago, expertly capturing the elusive quality of mischief; his malevolent soliloquies to the audience were especially noteworthy in their gravitas and well-paced delivery. Harry Lloyd Yorke’s portrayal of Desdemona, the unfortunate wife of Othello and object of his envy and wrath, was full of profound melancholy and confusion, amplifying the tragedy of Othello’s climactic ending in which she meets her end at the hands of her own, misguided husband.

A tale of envy, anger and a man’s fall from grace into despair, masterfully depicted in a contemporary setting by Scott Handy and an incredibly cohesive cast, Othello was certainly an unmissable school play.

Louis Capstick (NCWS)

Photos: Robert Workman