Othello Performance Workshop: Day 2

Actor Chris Macaulay playing Iago in Othello
Actor Chris Macaulay playing Iago in Othello

The Performance

Nottingham based actor Christopher Macauley joined us to play the role of Iago. Chris, a graduate of 1623 theatre’s Trainee Actors Course, was able to bring a new energy to our explorations of Othello.

During the Othello workshop we discussed Iago’s motivations, and the fact that racism drives much of his diabolical machinations!

We explored the scenes and speeches and see how Iago feeds Othello’s uncontrollable Jealousy as we move towards the plays tragic climax.

Oliver Wilson reprised his role of Othello and gave a standout performance.  Ben Spiller from 1623 Theatre put the actors through a series of performance exercises designed to give the performers greater insight into the goal and motivations of the characters during the scene. This helped the actors to better understand their performance characteristics and it also helped to cement the relationships between the characters to create a dynamic performance.

Filming Othello

Just as the energy of the workshop reached its peak it was time to film. Jenson Grant from Destinations Arts captured the performance using a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera and a SONY HD camera. We first shot in the rehearsal space of the green room which is incidentally painted yellow!

We managed to develop and shoot three important Iago monologues in a particularly eerie looking exhibition space at Derby QUAD.

The rehearsal process was also captured on video, this footage will be used to produce learning resources. The performances developed during these workshops will be used to inspire others to explore and perform Shakespeare!

After the performance Ollie said; “I’ve had the opportunity to own the performance because when I’m in the moment I’m inside the text, that’s when I give my best performance, my all, and these workshops have enabled me to do that.”

These workshops are part of the Othello Unbound Project which is a creative exploration of Shakespeare’s Othello.  This Destinations Arts initiative is supported by Sheffield Hallam University and funded by Arts Council England.