STUNNING! STUNNING! STUNNING to paraphrase Cassio's "Reputation, reputation, reputation!" - Act II scene III. This superb production will certainly do that for the uniformly excellent cast. It is, however, Chitwetel Ejiofor's magnificent Othello that stands out. I do not think I will see a better performance in my life time. It is up there with the greats. I count myself fortunate in having been able to see it. Brilliantly directed by Michael Grandage with atmospheric designs by Christopher Oram enhanced by Paule Constable's lighting and Adam Cork's music made this a true night to remember! I hope it gets a transfer so that many more than the tiny Donmar can hold get a chance to see this truly amazing production. - rds
09 Feb 08
If people would just stop obsessing about 'the stars', they would find a production whose staging has great energy, a tremendous atmosphere created by design lighting and sound and a terrific ensemble in which everyone shines. This is premiere league Shakespeare. This has proved to be a great winter for Shakespeare in London. - Gareth James
29 Jan 08
During last year's mediocre Othello at the Globe I consoled myself with the thought that Michael Grandage's prouction would be much better and, with one glaring exception, it is. This is a superbly passionate version with all the relationships clearly delineated. Kelly Reilly is an unusually flirtatious Desdemona but ths makes sense of Othello's readiness to believe in her infidelity. Tom Hiddleston is an attractive Cassio and Michelle Fairley is exceptional as Emilia, particularly in the closing scenes. Even better is Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello, clearly aware of his outsider status but charismatic. You can see his mind being poisoned culminating in utter tragedy and self-destruction. That glaring exception though is Ewan McGregor. At first I thought he would give us an Iago brimming with hatred and resentment but he quickly subsides into utter blandness - by the closing scene he had almost disappeared and I couldn't care less what happened to Iago. If I had paid a ridiculous price just to see McGregor I would have felt seriously cheated but actually, despite such a weak Iago, this is an excellent Othello. - David Baxter
10 Jan 08
The greatest Shakespeare production of my life! I have never been so excited, so moved, or so impressed by any Shakespeare play before. Here we have it, unadorned, direct, pacey, no spurious gimmicks or updates, with a title performance which is nothing less than great. By the end I was choked up, wrung out and almost speechless by this masterclass in theatrical purity.
I guess this late arrival will be too late to garner WOS award nominations, too late in the year and in too small a theatre to pick up many votes, which just shows up the nonsense of relying on the popular vote in any Best Of rating. I just hope the Donmar will find seats for the Olivier panel before the end of the year. No production could be more award worthy. - Mikey
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