This is a curious production of Othello. You get the bones of the story, clearly, but the flesh, the marrow, the heart – all of which depends upon the rich characters of the central trio and the way the actors approach their motivations, fears and tempestuous feelings – is thin on the ground. As Othello says: “Certain men should be what they seem”. In appearance, word and action. In Khan’s hands, and with this casting, none of Othello, Desdemona nor Iago are what they seem according to Shakespeare’s text.
Findlay’s production of The Merchant Of Venice, like all great productions of Shakespeare, is brimming with ideas, spoken with assurance and intelligence, and illuminates the text insightfully and vigorously. Refreshing and fascinating. Findlay breathes complexity and assuredness into Shakespeare’s play by focussing on sex and greed. But there is no shortage of hatred either.