Theatre Night (1985– )
4 user 1 critic
A slightly updated version of Othello set in the 19th century Cyprus, where all characters wear uniforms and dresses from the American Civil War era. Othello, a heroic aging Moroccan ... See full summary »




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Episode cast overview:
Michael Grandage ...
Brabantio / Gratiano
Willard White ...
Sean Baker ...
John Burgess ...
Duke of Venice / Lodovico
Brian Lawson ...
First senator / Second Cyprus soldier / Second Othello soldier
Servant to the Senate / First Cyprus soldier / First Othello soldier
Philip Sully ...
Marsha A. Hunt ...
Bianca (as Marsha Hunt)
Jonathan Goldstein ...
Peter Rolinson ...


A slightly updated version of Othello set in the 19th century Cyprus, where all characters wear uniforms and dresses from the American Civil War era. Othello, a heroic aging Moroccan mercenary marries beautiful and loving Desdemona, daughter of a general. Their love has no match, but their doom is spelled by non other than Othello's personal confidant Iago, a master manipulator, who believes that a trained loyal soldier like him is more deserving of a good life than a foreign mercenary.

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Comedy | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

23 June 1990 (UK)  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Television version of the Royal Shakespeare Company production from their 1989 Stratford and London season. See more »


Version of Omkara (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

RSC's fabulous Othello for our times
18 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Trevor Nunn's production of Othello transfers here to the screen in one of the best versions of the play ever filmed - perhaps the best of them all.

In the title role is opera singer Willard White, who imbues the character of Othello with just the right mix of arrogance, courage, pride, jealousy, passion, and - given that this is the 'tragedy of Othello' vulnerability. As Iago is Ian McKellen, in one of his best performances. His Iago is pure poison in his asides and his contempt of others, his smiling, jovial exterior hiding the viper within. Imogen Stubbs is a delicate, three-dimensional Desdemona, letting the viewer sympathise as events in the war zone start to crumble around her.

Often the supporting cast are a let-down, but not here - Sean Baker is an excellent Cassio, Michael Grandage (now better known as a stage director than an actor) is probably the best Roderigo for years, Zoe Wanamaker shines as Emilia, Marsha Hunt is suitably flirtatious as Bianca, and Clive Swift and John Burgess are memorable in smaller roles.

With an American Civil War setting, this Othello nevertheless manages to be relevant to the modern day. In the oft-told tale of jealousy and the false friend, the viewer is instantly sucked in and reminded of parallels in the world outside, from the affairs of state down to the corporate boardroom.

And Act V, especially the last couple of scenes, are truly excellent. This Othello is definitely worth your time - at well over three hours it does not skimp on the text and it is a dynamic and clever production.

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