Othello at the Maynardville Outdoor Theatre

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For the last 6 years we’ve been going to the Maynardville open air theatre as a family. It’s become a tradition, and long before January, we’re all watching the website to see what show will be next. It did take a few years to convince my dad to join us, as school Shakespeare had left him with a sour taste in his mouth, and Chris has slotted in for the past few years and really enjoys coming with us.

And it’s easy to understand why it’s enjoyable. Lovely picnic on a hot summers day in a very well kept park, will all the Egyptian geese, squirrels and guinea fowl running around, plenty of adorable children to watch as they enjoy being outdoors and the promise of another great play. The quick dash to the car to put the picnic things away, a change into warmer clothes, blankets to be collected and you’re ready to go. The best treat though, is the half time coffee or hot chocolate from the little stall up top.

Othello was my matric set-work at school, and even then I loved it. So this play was right up my alley, with beautiful set work and an amazing thunder and lightning display to signal the storm the Turks got lost in. Othello himself was a bit difficult to understand at first, as his accent was very strong, but after two scenes it was easy enough to follow. The acting was stunning, with both Desdemona and Iago being played to a T. We did overhear some elder ladies commenting on the fact that it was a pity that Iago’s actor was gay, cos he was too yummy!

What would I change? The random couple sitting in front of me who would burst out laughing at the darkest moments (maybe go see a therapist?) and Chris sat behind a lady who’s perfume was apparently “choking”, so there was plenty of giggling from him, Abi and Shaughn, which was random when you had no idea why they were giggling as Desdemona is murdered.

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