ASHFORD YOUTH THEATRE

OTHELLO

OTHELLO

May 1983

Why do Shakespeare? Firstly, he is our greatest poet, and more importantly for a Youth Theatre, our foremost dramatist. His best plays, and in particular, tragedies, offer a unique challenge and a unique kind of artistic satisfaction to not only the actors, but to everyone involved in such a production. There are all good reasons for staging 'Othello', but on another level, the play calls for a large degree of commitment and hard work, which earn their own reward in the considerable audience impact the drama has. Many other types of play will be performed by the Youth Theatre in days to come, but Shakespeare's 'Othello' is as good a start as any.
The play is the most restricted in the scope of the great tragedies, having comparatively few major characters; consequently, the emotions aroused are of a concentrated nature. The plot revolves around the four central characters: Othello, the noble Moor; Desdemona, his beautiful wife; Cassio, the unswervingly faithful lieutenant; and, of course, Iago, the villain. Fundamentally, the play resolves into a struggle between Othello, who represents nobility and love, as well as the forces of law and order, and Iago, an amoral Machiavel, who symbolises the dark and fathomless side of human nature. The precis, however, is simplistic; Othello is not a good man ruined from without, but rather a good man duped into ruining himself, hence the tragedy. The great unanswered riddle that the play poses is this: why does Iago behave as he does, or on a more metaphysical plane, why does evil exist? It is difficult to sort the grain from the chaff in what Iago himself says, but perhaps one of his first comments is most reveling - "I am not what I am", and how harshly we judge him will depend on our interpretation of such remarks.

D.J.B

CAST:

Othello - Chris Whittle
Dedemona - Clare Tester
Iago - Daryl Brown
Emilia - Claire Wilson
Cassio - Conrad Critchley
Rodergio - Derrick Newton
Brabantio - Martin Plummeridge
Duke of Venice - Gregory Hooker
Montana - Rene Lelong
Bianca - Millie Dobie
Lodovico - Alan Lavender
Gratiano - William Green
1st Gentleman - Richard Pegge
2nd Gentleman - Michael Ward
Officer - Ian Fairfield
Soldiers and Male Attendents -
Andrew Cammegh
David Cammegh
Brian Critchley
Mark Green
Laurence Muspratt
Nicholas Edwards
Richard Elgar
Bruno Porter
Ladies of Cyprus & Female Attendents -
Keeley Allaway
Angela Hukins
Elizabeth Stannard
Julie-Ann Cosgrove
Rebecca Martin
Nicolette Stoddart

Directed by Daryl Brown