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This Shakespearean Tragedy is Coming to the Dubai Opera for the First Time

“Othello” (2017)

Exciting news for Shakespeare fans: Othello is coming to Dubai Opera. Following a highly-successful London tour, the Shakespearian tragedy, reimagined and directed by Richard Twyman, will be on for over four consecutive days, from January 30 until February 2, with a matinee and evening performance on the Friday and Saturday. It will be the first time that the by English Touring Theatre production comes to the Middle East.

Originally written by English playwright William Shakespeare, Othello was first performed in 1604. There have been hundreds of different interpretations of the play since then. In Twyman’s version, Othello, characterized by Victor Oshin, is a black Muslim who has been forced to disguise his faith in the deeply conservative Venetian state.

The play opens with a prayer scene, in which Othello unfurls a Muslim prayer mat for him and Desdemona (Kitty Archer) to sit on during their Islamic marriage ceremony. “Bismillah” is the opening word. The production follows the original plot first penned by Shakespeare in the 16th century, which sees Othello manipulated into jealousy and revenge.

In a statement, Dubai Opera chief executive Jasper Hope said: “Shakespeare may have written Othello 400 years ago but the story is nonetheless completely contemporary in so many regards”.

Creative Advisor, Abdul-Rehman Malik added, “Richard Twyman’s Othello breaks new ground by demonstrating how disturbingly relevant and profound the play is to our times. It shows us the political, social, cultural, and religious fault lines that we are contending with today and offers a searing critique of xenophobia and patriarchy, empire and privilege”.

Othello joins a line-up of spectacular productions set to take over Dubai Opera’s stage, alongside a broadway musical of PIAF! Le Spectacle (February), the National Ballet of Ukraine’s Sleeping Beauty (April), and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s haunting Phantom of the Opera (Fall 2019).

Tickets for Othello can be purchased for AED/SAR 150 at Dubai Opera’s website.

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