Yorkshire race riots set scene for Othello at Doncaster’s Cast theatre

Pictured is Kirsty Oswald as Desdemona and Mark Ebulue as Othello. Picture: Manuel Harlan
Pictured is Kirsty Oswald as Desdemona and Mark Ebulue as Othello. Picture: Manuel Harlan

Award winning theatre company Frantic Assembly’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello is set to explode onto the Cast theatre’s main stage with an electrifying take on Shakespeare’s most brutal and gripping thriller-tragedy of paranoia, jealousy, sex and murder.

Frantic Assembly’s Othello, which arrives at Cast on November 4 for a five day run, is set in Yorkshire during the race riots of 2001, a time which saw terrible divisions and some unexpected alliances.

Othello’s passionate affair with Desdemona leaves him open to jealousy and attack – with devastating consequences.

To Othello, violence is a way of life and reputation is everything.

Mark Ebulue, recently of the RSC and a former kickboxer, plays the title role alongside Steven Miller as Iago, known for his four-year stint as Lenny Lyons in Casualty (BBC TV), with Kirsty Oswald (The Judas Kiss, The Winter’s Tale) as Desdemona.

This co-production between Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth is directed by Scott Graham, Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly, who won the TMA Award for Best Direction for the original production. Frantic Assembly are also movement directors on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, winner of seven Olivier Awards, which has recently won great acclaim in the West End and on Broadway alongside numerous other shows.

Director Scott Graham had this to say on setting Othello during the Yorkshire race riots of 2001.

“This heightened racial tension, this volatile mix of white, Asian and a much smaller black community began to present the story of Othello played out across the race riots of West Yorkshire in 2001. This made the play resonate with us. It became something we could approach.”

Also joining the cast will be Leila Crerar and Richard James-Neale, who will reprise their roles form the original 2008 production as Emilia and Roderigo respectively.

The role of Cassio will be played by Ryan Fletcher, who has previously performed with Frantic Assembly in Beautiful Burnout (2010), while Montano will be played by Dritan Kastrati, a graduate of Frantic Assembly’s Ignition programme - an innovative vocational training project for young men aged 16 – 20 years.

Tickets for Othello on Tuesday 4 – Saturday, November 8 are £19.50 / £16.50 concessions* and are available from Doncaster Ticket Office on 01302 303 959 or castindoncaster.com.