Clint Dyer’s production stars Giles Terera and Rosy McEwen.
WhatsOnStage: ***** “It’s an intense collapse, riding Shakespeare’s language to find his own meanings, an extraordinary performance at the heart of a revelatory and relevant production.”
The Guardian: **** “It remains highly watchable and well-paced with good supporting performances from Rory Fleck Byrne as the earnest Cassio and Jack Bardoe as Roderigo. This is an Othello which feels unlike any other, its central figure a villain not a hero – a cleaning up of the play, indeed.”
The Independent: **** “Clint Dyer’s transfixing production, the first by a Black director at the National Theatre, has a quality that suggests it will quickly become a classic.”
iNews: **** “It really should be called Iago. Countless others have made this observation before me, but Paul Hilton’s exquisite performance of calculation, craft and cunning reminds us of the play’s misnaming all over again.”
Evening Standard: **** “Some parts of the production are overdone: the glaring lighting changes; the moment Iago activates the dormant spectators like robots from Westworld. But ultimately one can’t argue with the subtlety of the three central performances or the brutal logic of Dyer’s production.”
Broadway World: **** “Dyer never loses sight of Othello as a political thriller. A frenetic pace keeps the production punchy and aerodynamic. Chloe Lamford’s storeyed set enables cinematic power dynamics to blossom between performers whilst sound designers, Pete Malkin and Benjamin Grant and co-composer Sola Akingbola weave a subtle but menacing sonorous aural tapestry bubbiling beneath the intrigue.”
The Upcoming: ***** “Terera and McEwen offer convincing portrayals individually, although they perhaps lack chemistry as a couple. Hilton shines as the antagonist – his Iago is, in the best sense, a textbook villain. His energy keeps the intrigue alive, and his zeal to accomplish his devious plan rubs on to the audience, who remain involved throughout, also thanks to the character’s occasional asides (a dramatic device that can feel forced, but works well here).”
The Telegraph: *** “The NT’s new staging has a great deal in its favour, but is let down by uneven verse-speaking and a remorselessly sombre ambience.”
Time Out: **** “Dyer’s production is crisp, original and brutal, with strikingly sinister choreography from Lucie Pankhurst and magnificently doomy sound design and composition from Benjamin Grant. It seems perverse to say it feels fresh to approach ‘Othello’ as a play about race. But such is its complicated history – tainted by its long association with blackface – it’s understandable that white directors like Nick Hytner and Sam Mendes haven’t felt it’s their place to use the play as a vehicle to comment on Black people’s lived experiences.”
Othello will play at the National Theatre until the 21st January 2023.