THE first female Othello in a major production will be brought to the Everyman stage this May, as Golda Rosheuvel performs in a challenging and timely adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.
Directed by Gemma Bodinetz, winner of Best Director at the 2017 UK Theatre Awards, the production is the third in a series of four plays by the Everyman Company in 2018. Using the original script the Company will explore themes of love, power, jealousy and deception synonymous with the Shakespearean tragedy.
This is the first major production where the role will be played by a woman in a mixed gender casting, as Gemma Bodinetz aims to bring the same electricity that audiences would have felt when the play was first performed in the early 17th century.
Alongside Rosheuvel in the role of the manipulative and villainous antagonist Iago is Patrick Brennan and Othello’s lover Desdemona is played by Emily Hughes. Both actors are performing in their second production of the Everyman Company 2018 season, following lead roles as Ben and Jennifer Rumson in Paint Your Wagon.
Everyman Company members Marc Elliott, Paul Duckworth, Cerith Flinn and Emma Bispham will play other key roles including Desdemona’s suitor Roderigo, Brabantio, Cassio and Emilia.
Gemma Bodinetz, artistic director of the Everyman & Playhouse said: “I wanted to direct something that’s resonant, that’s electrifying to the times we live in now as well as a beautiful portrayal of something that was written 400 years ago.
“The decision to cast Othello as a woman came from a desire to make the play as electric as it might have been to the very first audience who saw it. Wherever you set a Shakespeare, as a director, you’re always trying to make the audience feel as alive to it as that original audience was.”
Joining the Company for Othello is Young Everyman and Playhouse (YEP) actor Leah Gould who will play the role of Bianca, providing another opportunity for young actors to progress into roles through YEP.
Returning to work alongside Gemma is composer Peter Coyte, who previously worked on Shakespeare productions The Twelfth Night and Macbeth at the Everyman.
Jocelyn Meall, Molly Lacey Davies and Natalie Johnson have designed the stage for this adaptation, with Jocelyn and Molly creating and designing all stages for this year’s Company season. Supporting Gemma as assistant director is James Anders, who is part of the Young Everyman and Playhouse Directors programme.
Tickets for Othello and other company shows are on sale now. A variety of prices are available across the season, with tickets priced at £10 to £40 – or £5 for young people – at all performances, as the Everyman & Playhouse continue to make their work accessible to all.
Captioned and Audio Described performances are available for all four productions. To support the visits of those attending with Access needs, the Everyman has increased the discount and continue to offer a companion seat where additional support is required.
Bookers have the opportunity to see multiple productions through subscription packages, from £38. To find out more about the prices available for all shows and to buy your tickets, visit: https://www.everymanplayhouse.com/the-everyman-company-2018.