OTHELLO ON TRIAL
(Or: The Tragedy of Desdemona, the Wife)
Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy kills girl. It’s a story at least as old as Shakespeare’s Othello and with one woman killed each week in Australia by her male partner or ex, it couldn’t be more disturbingly topical.
A confronting new play tackles possessive jealousy and its fatal consequences head on. Weaving scenes from Othello with excerpts from historic and contemporary criminal trials, it puts Othello on trial for killing his ‘unfaithful’ wife. Murder or manslaughter? Should ‘being wrought’ as Othello puts it ─ or ‘seeing red’ as modern wife-killers put it ─ have mitigating force today? The audience delivers the verdict.
On the 400th anniversary of his death, a compelling night of theatre showcases the uncanny timeliness of Shakespeare’s ‘domestic’ drama, The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice.
Written and directed by Adrian Howe Original Music by Mark Morand Photo by Karen Ingala Smith: Ruby Kearney and Jude Owusu in performance, London 2015.
This project has been developed with assistance from Fitzroy Legal Service and is funded by the Law Foundation, The University of Melbourne Centre for Public Engagement and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.