Yasmin Alibhai-Brown examines the powerful drama of a marriage between the Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown explores five Shakespeare plays which cross the racial divide. No one has ever captured the joy and lunacy and power of love better than William Shakespeare. And his transgressive depictions of love in particular remain unsurpassed.
Othello, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Antony and Cleopatra and A Midsummer Night's Dream - in these five plays there's so much more to love than love. These are not tidy tragedies. Shakespeare apparently never left England except through his plays yet he embraced interracial relationships and supernatural relationships and turned them into thrilling, dangerous drama. We bring together scholars, directors and actors to explore how the compulsions and fears, joys and sorrows, very much part of everyday life for many in Britain today, were so brilliantly showcased by Shakespeare more than four hundred years ago.
In the first play of the series, Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage between the Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona. Shakespeare builds so many differences into his hero and heroine - differences of race, of age, of cultural background - the tragic end is almost inevitable. Yet most people who see or read the play come away feeling, but for Iago's cruel hand, the couple would have won the day.
Producer Mohini Patel.
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