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It is war. Cyprus is threatened with an attack by the Turkish fleet. The rulers of Venice send their best man, the dark-skinned commander Othello, to defend the island. But the Turkish ships are caught in a storm and sunk. Celebrated as the victor, Othello enters Cyprus with his entourage.

OTHELLO!
OTHELLO! © René Löffler

With them is Iago, a war crony and subordinate of Othello's who is consumed by revenge and jealousy. He not only envies his professional success and his marriage to the younger and noble Desdemona, but also suspects him of having had an affair with his own wife Emilia. He is aided by Rodrigo, a man unhappily in love with Desdemona, who shares Iago's racist resentment of Othello. In revenge, Iago therefore devises a plan to destroy Othello and whispers to him that the disgraced Michael Cassio was all too familiar with Desdemona.

The seed of jealousy falls on fertile ground. Othello becomes increasingly entangled in Jago's web of intrigue and lies, and when a handkerchief, Othello's love pledge to Desdemona, turns up at Cassio's, the decision for the supposedly cuckolded man is clear: Desdemona must die. These are theaters of war where Shakespeare lets his characters clash: politics, marriage, the bed. And in the end it is not only the soldiers Othello, Iago and Cassio who are left wounded or killed on the battlefield, but also the civilians: Desdemona, Rodrigo and Emilia, Jago's own wife.

Victims of Othello's bloodlust, collateral damage of a man under a delusion. Shocked and stunned, we watch. How could it have come to this? Othello - a milestone of theater literature and one of Shakespeare's smartest plays - is a delightful undertaking. A gripping thriller, strong characters in the inevitable maelstrom of human catastrophe, driven by love and envy, hatred and jealousy. And in the middle of society, the stranger, successful in what he does, respected and respected. And yet he remains the stranger, always in danger of being attacked, the target of prejudice and racist resentment.

Shakespeare could hardly be more relevant today. In view of the renewed fear of the stranger, we have decided to restage this tragedy. Starting from the premise that all people are interconnected in their humanity, the SCB ventures to transfer this 400-year-old tale, which has astonishingly much to do with the reality of our lives. Love, hate, jealousy, betrayal and defense against the so-called "stranger" play into each other's hands and into the inevitable abyss in a perfect dramaturgical composition.

In a new translation and in our own stage aesthetics, the musicality and virtuosity of the players are staged with lightness, rapid transformations and emotional intensity. In this way, Shakespeare becomes current and can be experienced directly: Yesterday becomes today, old becomes new, tragedy and wit play together, and you will experience the Shakespeare Company Berlin as usual as a passionately playful ensemble that deeply touches, entertains and ignites enthusiasm in the audience.

(Program in German)
Additional information
About the play: It's war. Cyprus is threatened by an attack from the Turkish fleet. The rulers of Venice send their best man, the dark-skinned general Othello, to defend the island. But the Turkish ships are caught in a storm and sunk. Celebrated as the victor, Othello enters Cyprus with his entourage. With them is Iago, a war crony and subordinate of Othello's who is consumed by revenge and jealousy. He not only envies his professional success and his marriage to the younger and noble Desdemona, but also suspects him of having had an affair with his own wife Emilia. He is aided by Rodrigo, a man unhappily in love with Desdemona, who shares Iago's racist resentment of Othello. In revenge, Iago therefore devises a plan to destroy Othello and whispers to him that the disgraced Michael Cassio was all too familiar with Desdemona. The seed of jealousy falls on fertile ground. Othello becomes increasingly entangled in Jago's web of intrigue and lies, and when a handkerchief, Othello's love pledge to Desdemona, turns up at Cassio's, the decision for the supposedly cuckolded man is clear: Desdemona must die.

Love, hate, jealousy, betrayal and defense against the so-called "stranger" play into each other's hands and into the inevitable abyss in a perfect dramaturgical composition. In a new translation and in our own stage aesthetics, the musicality and virtuosity of the players are staged with lightness, rapid transformations and emotional intensity. Yesterday becomes today, old becomes new, tragedy and wit play together and you will experience the Shakespeare Company Berlin as a passionate ensemble that deeply touches, entertains and inspires the audience.

Sponsored by The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Neustart Kultur, Deutscher Bühnenverein and DTHG
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