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 »


David Myerscough-Jones (adapted for television by), William Shakespeare (play)

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Episode cast overview:
Michael Grandage Michael Grandage ... Roderigo
Ian McKellen ... Iago
Clive Swift ... Brabantio / Gratiano
Willard White Willard White ... Othello
Sean Baker Sean Baker ... Cassio
John Burgess John Burgess ... Duke of Venice / Lodovico
Brian Lawson Brian Lawson ... First senator / Second Cyprus soldier / Second Othello soldier
David Hounslow ... Servant to the Senate / First Cyprus soldier / First Othello soldier
Philip Sully Philip Sully ... Montano
Imogen Stubbs ... Desdemona
Zoë Wanamaker ... Emilia
Marsha A. Hunt ... Bianca (as Marsha Hunt)
Jonathan Goldstein Jonathan Goldstein ... Musician
Peter Rolinson Peter Rolinson ... Musician


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) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


Version of Being Othello (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

A superb performance
21 August 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

While there are also the Welles and Olivier films, which are fine adaptations and films in their own right, and also the Fishburne film, I shall always put this performance of one of Shakespeare's finest in their class. The sets are somewhat basic but acceptable also, and while the costumes have an American Civil War look to them considering the references to Europe they are appropriate. The stage direction manages to be moving and intense, while the dialogue is as ever brilliant and delivered grippingly. The acting is wonderful, especially Ian McKellen as Iago. His warm face is perfect for when Iago plays the roles of the false friend and confidante to Othello, yet McKellen is perfectly sinister and oily in his manipulation of him. His intensity of lines is as ever, as it was with the 1979 Macbeth, brilliant. Willard White is a dignified presence and very passionate in his increasing jealousy and rage, while Imogen Stubbs's Desdemona is three-dimensionally delicate and poignant. This Othello also has one of the better supporting casts of any Othello production, after seeing many that have been solidly performed but rather undistinguished otherwise. Sean Baker is very good as Cassio, and you possibly won't see a better Emilia than Zoe Wannamaker anywhere. Overall, the sound quality could have been sharper perhaps but that isn't enough to hinder the rest of this otherwise superb Othello. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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