Tuesday, May 19, 2015


This past weekend, I saw a performance of Othello, staged by the Seattle Shakespeare company, a local troupe which performs in Seattle Center (by the Space Needle). I think this is my favorite Seattle Shakespeare play to date!

As with most Shakespeare, this is a play which doesn't fit into any tidy genre pigeonholes. Peter Saccio, in his course covering Shakepeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, describes Othello as a Comedy that develops into a Tragedy. Certainly the beginning of the play could be taken as a bit of a crude comedy, redeemed by Othello's calm articulation of facts and Desdemona's stalwart statement of love for her husband. Sean Phillips and Hillary Clemens were nigh on perfect in these roles. The rest of the cast was right on the mark but I felt that this couple ably stole the show.

Later, when Iago's poison begins to take hold, Desdemona remains the mature one, with everybody else devolving into foolish juveniles. Knowing the horrible conclusion. knowing the tragic end that is to come, I found that every time Othello used the expression "honest Iago" made me cringe. It was like having a sore tooth and having every bite of food making me wince before any pain was even felt.

I hope you also had the opportunity to see this play. Even if you didn't, I highly recommend planning to attend other performances in the future!