Othello at New Fortune Theatre
Shakespeareae's Othello will be brought to life in a beautiful open-air theatre in Perth this summer.
This GRADS production sees Shakespeare return to UWA’s New Fortune Theatre this December, with award-winning Perth theatre director and performer Thomas Dimmick at the helm.
Othello tells the story of Othello, a powerful general in the Venetian army who battles deception, manipulation and intense jealousy at the hands of one of his truest friends, Iago.
Through its tumultuous acts, the audience is thrust into the depths of Othello’s mind and relationships seeing what he has to lose, including his beloved wife Desdemona.
Erik Bibaeff stars in the titular role, one which has deeply resonated with him for many years.
“The story of Othello has been one that’s always interested me,” he said. “As a culturally diverse man from a military background he is a character I can relate to in many ways.”
Erik hopes audiences will connect with Othello’s humanity and raw emotion.
“The intensity of the direction is going to bring the audience into a world where emotions run high and I hope to leave them with a picture of a multifaceted man battling many inner demons.”
Erik’s military background, including experiences in the US Navy, Australian Army, and West Australian Police Force, has proven invaluable for the show’s technical militarial scenework.
“Getting to work alongside my fellow actors and teach them military stances, drills and customs to include in the show has been an awesome experience,” Erik said.
It was Erik’s interest in portraying the lead role that encouraged Thomas Dimmick to revisit the script and examine the themes he might explore as a director.
Thomas said that despite being penned 420 years ago, the themes explored in Shakespeare’s Othello are as contemporary as they were the day it was written.
“There are a lot of different things to be taken away from this show - hopefully, one will be that it is still funny, despite its tragic ending,” he said.
“It is a fantastic show that is still relevant. This is a common thing for people working on Shakespeare to say, but there is a reason it’s so often repeated.”
Tadhg Scanlon takes on the role of Iago and is excited to welcome audiences to this unique performance space for a balmy night at the theatre.
“As an Irish person, the thought of doing an outdoor show is just wild. I hope audiences allow themselves the time and space to take in the language of the play, in such a beautiful setting, and switch off for a full evening of theatre. A rarity,” Tadhg said.
Anna Weir, who plays Othello’s wife Desdemona, echoes this sentiment.
“I hope audiences will appreciate the work and care the cast and crew have put into this production, allowing themselves to get swept up in the Shakespearean language and emotion that drives this engaging story,” she said.
Othello plays from 6-16 December at the New Fortune Theatre at UWA with tickets ranging from $18 to $35, including concessions. Book at bit.ly/othello2023
Photographer: Sean Breadsell