Othello is arguably one of Shakespeare’s greatest roles and Liverpool Everyman have breathed new life into the play by casting a female Othello, for the first time in a major modern British theatre. Golda Rosheuvel, who recently took the part of Mercutio at The Globe, will be stepping up to take the part of the envious Venetian army general.
Set in the future not too far from now, Othello is a distinguished military leader. She commands respect. But not everyone is ready for a leader quite like this one. Very early on in the play, we find out that Othello – who is referred to as ‘The Moor’ – has married the senator’s daughter, Desdemona. As the plot unravels Othello finds herself at the centre of a scheming revenge plot by Iago, a white soldier.
This Everyman Company production will tackle the major themes of the play – jealousy, power and race alongside notions of gender and homophobia – with Othello and Desdemona in a same-sex relationship. Director Gemma Bodinetz believes that this gender switch will tap into the moralities of a contemporary audience.
In an interview with the BBC, Bodinetz stated, “I’m trying to get to the root of the electricity that the original audience would have felt about the dare of this play. It began to feel quite electric for me that this woman was going to be in charge of so many men and so much testosterone.”
Following the relaunch of the rep company at Liverpool’s Everyman, Bodinetz was named the best director at the prestigious UK Theatre Awards.
Shakespeare’s Othello is one of four shows in the second season of the Everyman Company.